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Rediff.com  » Business » Nike makes football jerseys from recycled bottles!

Nike makes football jerseys from recycled bottles!

Last updated on: July 12, 2010 11:55 IST

Nike makes football jerseys from recycled bottles!

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Sreelatha Menon
The world goes green with the world cup, as players take bottles to the field. This season the football extravaganza was not all about great football, but about a green revolution that has taken the world of sports by storm.

Recycled plastic PET bottles collected from landfill sites in Taiwan and Japan have been used to make the jerseys worn by players from Brazil, Portugal, Netherlands, USA, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand Serbia and Slovenia all national teams sponsored by Nike.


Image: Nike goes green.

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Nike said each shirt was made from eight bottles and the sports wear manufacturer had to collect 800 bottles for each team. Nike, however, did not comment on whether it plans to start production of these "green jerseys" in India.

Said Sanjay Gangopadhyay marketing director of Nike India: "Nike is committed to recycling and the 'considered design' ethos for the long-term. The considered ethos is a product line devoted to recycling."

The company said the 13 million bottles that have been turned into jerseys can easily cover the 3,000 km length of the South African coastline. Although Nike supplied jerseys to nine teams, it is selling jerseys of only three countries in Indian stores.


Image: Jersey made from recycled bottles.

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While Nike flaunted its recycled creation at FIFA, Reliance in India has been silently on its silky polyester fibre being manufactured from bottles picked from garbage dumps for the last six years.

The Indian company is also ready to introduce Bottle-to-Bottle technology in the country - something that is yet to pick pace globally.

It makes 30,000 tons of 'green fibre' out of 36,000 tonnes of bottles it collects and recycles every year. The fibre is sold and is used as stuffing in pillows, quilts and toys among others.

"We are in the process of starting the process which will have to get approval from Food and drug administration," said a RIL source. "This would ensure recycling of the 3,40,000 tons of bottles consumed in the country each year and reduce generation of new waste."


Image: Bottles from garbage dumps turn useful.

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Nike makes football jerseys from recycled bottles!

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Reliance said bottles came from all over the country for the green fibre which is made at its plants in Silwasa, Barabanki, and Hoshiarpur. "We not only create green jobs but have increased the earnings of rag pickers and kabadis from whom we buy the bottles," the RIL official said.

The Alliance for Indian Rag-pickers in Delhi agrees. It said the company is the biggest user of plastic bottles in the capital.

A segregated waste pile fetches about Rs 26 per kilo while unsegregated waste gets between Rs 10 and Rs 14 a kilo. This ensures that waste pickers pick up every single bit of waste from every residential area in the city, said Sasi Bhushan Pandit of the Alliance.


Image: Bottles turn into green fibre.

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Delhi produces 10,000 metric tones of waste of which about 1,000 tons are plastic food-grade bottles. Coke which has also been recycling bottles outside India has been helping set up plastic recycling units in India. The enterprises supported by Coke turn bottles into pellets and flakes which can be sold in the market for further recycling.

Praveen Agarwal, Coke's general manager marketing, said: "We were driven purely by social concerns. He admits Coke is tying up soon with a top company to make chairs out of bottles."


Image: Coke to make chairs from bottles.

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