Initiative: Bisleri Bottles for Change raises awareness about recycling and upcycling plastic
Bisleri, earlier this March, carried out an initiative to educate citizens about the importance of recycling and upcycling plastic. As a part of their effort, Bisleri made uniforms for their sales team from used pet bottles.
A commendable initiative to create sustainable fabrics, these shirts were crafted from threads derived entirely from recycled bottles. Across India, 5,000 employees are presently wearing these uniforms, upholding the vision of sustainability.
Plastic bottles are still thought to be a threat to the environment but in reality, they are not. With the help of advanced technology, bottles can be transformed into clothing.
The idea behind the initiative was to practice what Bisleri preaches that PET bottles post-use are not waste. They are valuable, in fact where old newspaper fetches INR 6 to INR 8 per kg where single-use PET bottles fetch a value of INR 15 per kg post use.
It’s a misconception that bottles lie in the dump yard to become landfill. Water bottles are like gold among all packaging materials. Currently, in India, 90% of all PET is recycled for making yarn, t-shirts, shirts, etc.
Bisleri through their bottles for change initiative collected millions of bottles and around ten lakhs bottles were used to make a uniform for all staff of Bisleri.
On the announcement of upcycled clothing, Anjana Ghosh, Director Marketing and OSR, Bisleri International says, “People hate plastic because they are not aware of the feats of recycling. It’s a huge misconception that water bottles add to environmental pollution."
"In fact, in India, we have a robust recycling industry, which produces high-value fabric, shoes and other products from PET bottles. We thought we should practice what we preach that 'plastics are not waste'. Hence our entire staff across India are proudly to burst the myths around plastics. 5000 employees will flaunt their uniforms proudly made from our own plastic bottles."
We got to chat with Anjana Ghosh on the Bisleri Bottles for Change initiative.
Tell us about the recycled products recently launched by Bottles for Change.
The Bisleri initiative, Bottles for Change aims to educate citizens about the importance of recycling plastic and has made uniforms for their sales team from used PET bottles. Across India, 5,000 employees are presently wearing these uniforms, upholding the vision of sustainability.
What is the process involved in making these recycled products?
With developments in recycling and upcycling technology, the collected bottles were directly sent to the recycler. The plastic bottles were crushed and converted into flakes. The flakes were converted to fibre in the conversion machine.
Pet fibres are dyed in the required shades and mixed with cotton for shirting and with viscose for trousers. It took 40 bottles to make a shirt and around 45 bottles to make a trouser.
After mixing, the fibre is converted into yarn on the ring frame spinning machine. Once the yarn is ready, it is converted into fabric through the weaving process on rapier and air-jet looms.
Once the weaving is completed, the fabric is then sent for washing and final processing. It is moved to the tailoring unit for stitching the final uniform.
What has been the response to the initiative so far?
Bottles for Change has helped to create positive thought towards plastic. We have successfully recycled over 5,000 tons of plastic in the last two years.
With the increase in awareness on recycling plastic, what are the strategies that Bottles for Change is adopting to sustain the campaign?
Our PET packaging is recyclable multiple times and we will continue to spread awareness about recycling and its benefit to each and every citizen. Recycling is a sustainable solution which is the need of the hour.
What is in the pipeline for the initiative? Are you planning to introduce the initiative to other cities as well?
Bottles for Change has received a huge response and appreciation from the stakeholders in Mumbai. Our stakeholders include schools, colleges, corporates and housing societies.
As a part of our awareness programme, we have also placed recycled benches across public places in the city. Mumbai is our pilot project and now we have started our operations in Chennai too.
We are about to start our operations in the other cities of India as well. As we want to implement the same model across the cities of India.