Eco Spindles leads the way in plastic recycling by spinning 90 million PET bottles to yarn every year

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  • Eco Spindles and the BPPL group recycles and converts 90 million PET plastic bottles to polyester yarn, annually.
  • The PET plastic to yarn conversion process ensures the lowest carbon footprint globally with its unique flake to POY technology. 
  • Ecos Evolve yarn is the world’s most sustainable product in the recycled polyester yarn category.
PET plastic bottles being sent for washing and cleaning at the Eco Spindles washing plant

Sri Lanka’s largest plastic recycler, Eco Spindles, presents a sustainable solution to managing plastic waste by recycling plastic bottles directly into yarn or monofilaments. Recycled PET plastic is then used to knit fabric, or as fiber in brushes and brooms. Eco Spindles’ recycling facility converts over 90 million PET plastic bottles to yarn directly in a year. It is one of two plants globally capable of manufacturing yarn directly from PET plastic flakes. This process is known to reduce the use of energy, greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption during conversion.

Recycled plastic flakes used to manufacture polyester yarn

A wholly-owned subsidiary of BPPL Holdings PLC, Eco Spindles has embraced innovative technologies in yarn manufacturing to ensure a sustainable future for the apparel industry by creating the world’s first commercially available flake to POY (Partially Oriented Yarn) facility. According to the International Journal of Recent Technology and Engineering, in 2021, the expected consumption of PET plastic bottles will increase to 583.3 billion worldwide, highlighting that recycling and adding value to the bottles is essential.

“Typically, a PET plastic bottle would take over 1,000 years to degrade in the natural environment. If we were to recycle this plastic bottle into a garment, it would take less than 100 years to degrade fully. We can remove over 900 years in degradation time if we responsibly dispose of and recycle plastic. We use recycled plastic to create yarn. Our six signature products are Ecos Green, Ecos Evolve, Ecos Oceanic, Ecos Shield, Ecos Amy, and Ecos Chroma,” stated Nalaka Seneviratne, CEO of Eco Spindles Yarns. 

Yarn manufactured by Eco Spindles from PET plastic collected island-wide

“We have the technology to eliminate the polymer chip manufacturing process, which is used in ordinary polyester manufacturing. We do this by directly converting the flake into POY yarn. There is a huge amount of energy involved in the conversion process, which is eliminated. I am proud to say that our PET recycling process ensures the lowest carbon footprint globally, which is the basis for creating the ‘Ecos Green’ product. The five other yarn products are an extension of this,” elaborated Mr. Seneviratne. 

The Company also noted that ‘Ecos Evolve’ is the world’s most sustainable product in recycled polyester. Green and brown PET bottles are recycled where the natural colour of the bottle is used instead of adding colour in the dying chemical process to manufacture this type of yarn. 

“Another category, ‘Ecos Oceanic’ is PET plastic collected within a 50 km range from the beach inwards. We sell this yarn to apparel manufacturers and brands who want to make garments out of recycled ocean-bound plastic. We also provide a hang tag with a QR code so that consumers could trace the ocean in Sri Lanka, where the waste was collected from,” noted Mr. Seneviratne.  

The group noted that the polyester yarn produced out of recycled PET is sold to apparel manufacturers and clothing brands globally committed to promoting sustainable fashion. “As a world-renowned apparel sourcing destination, we want to continue to strengthen this sector by creating a circular supply chain within Sri Lanka, starting with the production of yarn. However, we want to do this while keeping the safety of our environment in mind, which is why making products such as sustainable yarn from recycled plastic waste has become critical. We hope that everyone sees the value recycled plastic waste can bring,” highlighted the Managing Director of the Group, Dr. Anush Amarasinghe. 

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