Sustainability Inspires Apparel Recycling

December 02, 2009

200 image001 150x150 R3From ancient tradition to high-tech innovations, fabric has undergone rapid transformations with the span of time. To sustain their slice of pie in the textile market, and attract more customers, apparel manufacturers come up with novel ideas. The current trend in selling products those goes with ecological lifestyle. Sustainable clothing is a virtuous part of ecological and growing design philosophy. Ethical practices are adopted to reduce the carbon footprint. There is an array of apparels seen in the market, made from recycled fabrics.
Recycled fashion goes together with sustainability:

Sustainable fashion supports and nourishes earth governed by the principles of organic fibres, recycling, free trade worker, and animal welfare. Recycling old fabrics is a part of the larger trend of sustainable fashion in which apparels are manufactured matching with the trends of environmentalism and social responsibility. Various materials, once its purpose is finished, instead of dumping in the garbage are recycled, and new apparels are made.
In an exclusive interview with Fibre2fashion, Mr. Akihiro Omatsuzawa, Chief of Technical Group of Japan Chemical Fibers Association (JCFA) says, “New recycling efforts have begun in areas of chemical fiber products using unconventional processes that take advantage of product characteristics, for instance, re-melting fiber to produce finished products or chemically decomposing and restoring it to the raw material stage.”
Wear your coffee after drinking it!

Most of the times grounded coffee beans are thrown into the garbage, or sometimes are used as fertilizer. A new process has emerged in the fabric market, wherein; waste grounded coffee beans have witnessed a creative application in making recycled fabrics. Grounded coffee beans are converted into yarn, which is woven into shirts. The squandered coffee bean powder is transformed into interlaced fibers, which is made into fabric, and is tailored into garments. Garments are manufactured in many styles of knitted, woven, and soft shell fabrics. Two T-shirts can be made from one cup of coffee.

Attractive T-shirts from old PET bottles:

Recycled plastic bottles can now be produced into fibres, which can be used in making apparels and home textiles. Old and thrown away plastic bottles go through a number of processes before they are finally converted into fabrics and reach the racks of the clothing store. The bottles are processed separately by washing and granulating them. The flakes are melted and extruded through a showerhead type device and made into polyester strands. The strands are then stretched out to thin out and make them strong. These fibres are made into fabrics and are used for making apparels, home furnishings and other products creatively and usefully.
Eco friendly Shoes:

An American manufacturing company has come up with a shoe manufactured from waste leather, waste synthetic materials, and other substances available on the factory floor. The upper part is made from waste leather and synthetic materials, which are fixed together with zigzag stitches. The middle sole of the shoe uses scrap-ground foam from factory production. Shoelaces and sock liners are made from eco friendly materials. To make the mission perfect in all the ways, the shoe is even packed in a cardboard shoe-packing box, which will be made only out of recycled materials.
Wear your favorite music around your neck!

Tapes from old and worn out audio cassettes are recycled and are used for making neck ties. Old and unused audio cassette tapes are recycled, and beautiful neckties are made from it. 50% of the materials of these ties are made from old and recorded audio cassette tape and the remaining 50% is blended with color thread.
Recycling old textile waste would minimize landfill deposits. Attempts to minimize wastage are now on focus due to increased environmental awareness. Currently, there is an increasing awareness among people regarding waste collection and recycling. Developing a potential market for recycled textiles by buying such recycled products will reduce the wastage going to landfill.

California Drops the Ball on Plastic Bag Ban

headshot R3Lisa Kaas Boyle
Co-Founder, Plastic Pollution Coalition, and Board Member, Heal the Bay

California was poised to pass the first statewide ban of single-use plastic bags in America when the legislation was defeated by a 21-14 vote on the floor of the California Senate yesterday. The vote disappointed many including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a supporter of the legislation that had gained widespread support from a diverse coalition including the California Grocers Association, labor, business and environmental groups. Despite yesterday’s loss on the Senate floor, California will continue to lead the nation with local bans throughout the state that will eventually achieve a significant reduction in plastic pollution from single-use plastic bags.

America as a nation is behind the curve on the issue of controlling plastic pollution as more than 40 jurisdictions worldwide have already banned single-use plastic bags, including China and Mexico City. The jurisdictions that have banned single-use plastic bags are home to 25% of the world population.
Why did the Single-Use Bag Reduction Act, AB 1998, fail when similar legislation has passed all around the globe? Many articles will be written about the corruption of our state legislators who took money from the main opposition to the legislation, the American Chemistry Council. While I believe that finance reform is key to resurrecting a functioning Democracy both in California and in the nation, I wish to examine why the average American has not yet come to associate single-use plastic bags with the terrible environmental and economic toll these bags exact. When the majority of Americans understand that plastic bags are not free but actually very costly to them, the balance will tip toward statewide bans.

Americans pay for clean-up of plastic bag pollution through our taxes. In California we spend billions to clean up beaches, to unclog storm drains, and to de-litter parks and roadways. In addition, there is the enormous cost we all pay to landfill these bags because they are almost impossible to recycle. We tried a recycling requirement for plastic bags in California and still haven’t achieved more than a 5% recycling rate. Plastic bags blow away from trash containers, recycling facilities and even landfills. Recyclers hate the bags. They jam the machines; they produce little material for the effort; and virgin material is more cost-effective for bag manufacturers. So in America, taxpayers pay an enormous price to deal with everlasting waste from plastic bags after they are used just once by shoppers.
In other nations, where waste management is not covered by taxpayers, the bags are literally taking over the countryside and people can see the results of the single-use mentality all around them, all the time. This awareness results in citizen-led protest and demand for government response. While we have visible plastic bag pollution here in America, most of our plastic waste is landfilled and filling our waterways and oceans where it is out of sight for most people. We need to communicate the real costs of plastic bag pollution to Americans so that they will demand legislative action. Once plastic bag bans free our tax dollars from the impossible mission of controlling plastic bag pollution, we can use this money on other priorities. As many states like California grapple with bad economic times, cost savings on needless expenditures should be taken very seriously.

In the wake of California’s failure to lead as a state, we can take heart that change is easy to make on a personal level. We can each bring our reusable bags to the market. When asked “paper or plastic?” say “neither” and present a washable, long-lasting canvas bag. In addition, we can work to create a patchwork of local bans that will drive the call for statewide and even national legislation. Source: Huffington Post

Plumbing Revolution: Is Water Recycling Coming to Your House?

Aaliyah Arthur

Around the country, companies and interest groups are working tirelessly to bring us the next revolution in environmentally sound products. The next products to hit the mass market in a big way could change the way we do plumbing. That´s right, it looks like water recycling could be the next big thing and it could not only prove to be a major help to the environment, it could mean big savings for everyone interested in how it will affect their bottom line.

These water recycling systems may work differently when they reach the mainstream, but some clues can be garnered by looking at prototype projects around the country. One such project takes drained water from the shower and diverts it back to the toilet tank. Another makes use of rainwater, pushing it straight from the gutters to an irrigation system that can be used to water the lawn or the garden. These kinds of plumbing innovations are exciting to anyone who is concerned about the rate at which we are going through our natural water supplies. The projects use computer controls for the homeowner to direct and cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000.

Many people are already trapping their rainwater and using it for other purposes simply by setting out rain barrels to collect the precipitation. However, while this low tech solution can help save water, it can also put you in violation of city ordinances if the barrel overflows and spills water onto the neighbor´s yard. With the new systems of rain collection, the overflow is diverted underground. These kinds of technologies could be used to cut household water usage by up to 1/3. Experts agree that most people underestimate the amount of water they use on a daily basis, particularly when it comes to flushing the toilet. Most people will say they flush the toilet around three or four times a day, when the reality is usually more like eight to ten.

Of course, home recycling isn´t the only place we´ll be seeing the new plumbing revolution. Officials in Orange County and other places around the world have put millions of dollars into plans that will allow them to turn sewage water into drinking water by running it through a purification process. While this may not sound as appetizing as it could, the purification process is complete and will return water that is very much safe to drink. With ideas such as these, the thought of water restrictions and drought may become concepts of the past. Source:American Chronicle

Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA) Selected by AmerenUE to Provide Turnkey Appliance Recycling Services

MINNEAPOLIS, Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. today announced that AmerenUE (UE) has selected the Company to be the provider of turnkey services for the utility’s Appliance Recycling Program. ARCA will provide refrigerator and freezer recycling services for the Missouri utility’s residential electric customers. The program began on August 2, 2010 and will run through September 30, 2011.

Through this program, participating UE utility customers who turn in operating but energy inefficient refrigerators and freezers manufactured prior to 2002 will be eligible for a $35.00 rebate check for each qualifying appliance, with a maximum of three appliances per year. ARCA will perform the in-home collection of qualifying refrigerators and freezers and recycle the units according to The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines. Together, UE and ARCA will prevent more than 95% of the recyclable materials in old refrigerators and freezers from entering the waste stream.

Edward R. (Jack) Cameron, ARCA’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to provide environmentally sound, turnkey appliance recycling services for UE in Missouri. This energy efficiency program will be the second appliance recycling program ARCA provides services for that is sponsored by Ameren; ARCA currently provides recycling services for Ameren Illinois Utilities’ (AmerenCIPS, AmerenCILCO, AmerenIP) Act On Energy® Recycling Program. By capitalizing on ARCA’s extensive experience in high-volume, environmentally sound appliance recycling, UE will reduce residential electricity demand, help lower their customers’ energy bills and provide public environmental benefits.” For more information on the AmerenUE’s Appliance Recycling Program, visit Uefficiency.com/Recycle or call 877-341-2187.

LG Electronics, Conn’s Appliances to Host Free Electronics Recycling Event

Partnering with Waste Management and CBS Radio, Event Encourages Responsible Recycling

DALLAS, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ — To encourage consumers to recycle electronic devices in an environmentally sound manner, LG Electronics and Waste Management Recycle America are asking Dallas-Fort Worth residents to take action and recycle their used devices at no charge in Lewisville on Saturday, Sept. 11.
Co-sponsored by Conn’s Appliances, the event is part of the LG Electronics Recycling Program, which was designed to provide consumers with a convenient way to dispose of their used, unwanted, obsolete or damaged consumer electronic products. The event will be held Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Lewisville, 1251 Valley Ridge Blvd.

Together with Waste Management Recycle America and CBS Radio, LG Electronics and Conn’s are encouraging consumers to responsibly recycle unused and outdated electronics products. Every family that brings in products for recycling will receive a coupon for $25 off on any LG-brand smart-energy-saving flat-screen HDTV, 42-inch class screen size or larger. Coupons, good at any of the 19 Conn’s locations through out the Dallas-Fort Worth area, must be redeemed by Sept. 30. (Limit one coupon per family.)
CBS Radio’s four popular local stations (1080 KRLD, 105.3 The Fan, KLUV FM and JACK FM) will promote the event, including live onsite broadcasts and appearances by the KRLD Street Team and The FAN Street Team.

“LG Electronics is taking a proactive approach to helping consumers responsibly dispose of end-of-life electronics by offering this free collection and recycling program to Dallas-area residents,” said Timothy McGrady, Environmental Manager for LG Electronics USA, Inc. “At events like this one in Lewisville, we encourage consumers to dispose of unwanted electronics in an environmentally responsible manner. This is a cornerstone of LG’s larger global sustainability initiative that also focuses on energy conservation, reduction of hazardous substances and responsible product designs. Life’s good when it’s green,” he said.
David Trahan of Conn’s said: “With the fall TV season, including college and pro football broadcasts, upon us, this is a great time for consumers to upgrade to a more-energy-efficient flat-screen HDTV. Responsibly disposing of old TVs and other unwanted consumer electronics products will help save energy and is generally good for the environment. Conn’s joins LG in encouraging area residents to take advantage of this terrific program.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 82 percent of the 2.25 million tons of old TVs, cell phones and computer products generated in the last two years ended up in landfills. By recycling old electronic products, useful materials – such as glass, plastic and metals – can be collected and re-used to manufacture other products.
Typically, residents would need to pay for their electronics to be properly collected and recycled, but as part of their ongoing efforts to help promote safe e-waste recycling, LG Electronics and Waste Management will be accepting any brand of electronics at this event for free (up to five items).In addition, the companies are committed to collecting and processing these items in an environmentally sound manner. The electronic materials received by LG will be processed at Waste Management facilities that are ISO 14001 and 9001 certified. In addition, Waste Management Recycle America is a signatory to the Basel Action Network’s Manufacturers’ Commitment to Responsible E-Waste Recycling as well as to the Responsible Recycling (R2) program. These actions signifies the company’s agreement to conduct their electronics recycling programs transparently and in accord with rigorous environmental and worker safety standards, and to adhere to measures that prevent the export of hazardous e-waste to developing countries.

“People are seeking services to help them recycle electronic waste responsibly and economically,” said Greta Calvery, community affairs manager for Waste Management. “We hope to collect as much recyclable material as possible through this free event. It is our way of demonstrating a shared commitment with the community, by providing outstanding customer service and environmental stewardship.”
If residents cannot participate in this event, they are encouraged to drop-off their used electronics at a permanent facility, located at HOBI International, 7601 Ambassador Row, Dallas.
For more information about the LG Electronics Recycling Program, please visit http://www.lgrecyclingprogram.com/

HANC Recycling Center an idea whose time has gone

C.W. Nevius
Thursday, September 2, 2010

Like the floppy disk and the VCR, the HANC Recycling Center in Golden Gate Park was a cutting-edge idea in 1974, the year it opened. Now it is noisy, dated and nearly irrelevant.
But it is a measure of the volatility of neighborhoods that the idea of closing a recycling center – in a city where virtually every residence has its own recycling bin – is considered a political hot potato. The mayor’s office is tentatively floating the concept and bracing for a backlash.
My guess is there won’t be one.

Neighbors have been pushing for a closure for years. They say the trucks that roll into the center are noisy and out of place. They think the corner of one of the most beautiful city parks in the world is no place for a drop-off center for cans and bottles.”It was a wonderful service back when there were none,” said Richard Magary, chair of the steering committee for the Buena Vista Neighborhood Association. “But it has outlived its time.” The neighbors also say – and this is controversial – that having a cash-for-cans outlet in the park tends to encourage homeless campers. They show up with a shopping cart full of cans in the morning, collect $30 to $40, and use that money to buy everything from food to booze to drugs. “It is a clear magnet for questionable activity,” said Tony Winnicker, spokesman for the mayor. “There’s no good argument to keep it there.” An attempt to make one will be made, though. Recycling center Executive Director Ed Dunn is pulling out all the stops. He’s made a video of “typical” customers on a single day, the majority of whom appear to be well-scrubbed, well-dressed neighbors who cheerfully tout the advantages of the center.

“The video says it all,” Dunn said. “The only thing (the critics) have been able to say is that the recycling center causes homelessness. That’s just absurd.”
theft of recyclables. Actually, that’s not really what they say. The complaint is – and it is backed up by anecdotal evidence – that having a recycling ATM in the park is a bad idea. Park officials say that 75 percent of the campers who are cited for living in the park have recycling material in their belongings, ready for the next morning’s payday. Neighbors are also tired of hearing freelance recyclers tipping over their blue bins in the middle of the night to swipe the cans and bottles. Some of the recycling bandits are pushing shopping carts, but there’s also a small group of guys with pickups who cruise the streets, fill up the truck bed, and cash in. It’s very tough for the police to make an arrest because you have to catch them red-handed. A better solution is to remove the clearinghouse for the product. Without the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council center, there are plans for a community garden, a tool rental program, and a spiffed-up southeast entrance to the park. The current native plants garden could be kept in some form, although the persistent rumors that the plants are being sold to local shops would have to be addressed finding new jobs.

Dunn’s most sympathetic appeal is that closing the center will cost 10 employees their jobs in a green industry. That’s not a reason to keep an outdated operation in business, but it does stir some regret. John Newlin, a former police captain who lives across the street from the center, has advocated closing it for years. Now he’s on the verge of seeing it happen.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Newlin said. “They’ve driven me crazy for years, but the guys who work there are really nice guys. I hate to see them lose their jobs.”Newlin says he made a proposal that the city try to find jobs for long-term recyclers with the company that handles the city’s recycling. So far, no one has stepped up to make that happen. Too bad. It sounds like the perfect San Francisco solution – recycling the recyclers. SF Gate