The bottles war: recycling of PET, and the looming fight for supply
In the polyester chain, the recycling of PET (RPET) bottles for use as fibres in apparels and other textiles, and also increasingly in packaging is central in this global sustainability effort. Indeed, major brands most exposed to the polyester use have drawn up ambitious, net-zero targets, or to reduce their carbon footprint / emissions in the next 5-8 years. Unfortunately, some of these plans may fall through in the set time frame. The crux of the challenge is the limited availability of RPET to realise these targets, which is expected to intensify in coming years as the demand surge accelerates and end-uses multiply. As such, there is likely going to be a fight between the textiles and packaging sectors for the limited supply of RPET; this “bottles war” can see unwelcomed results, but there is hope.