Fashionable trash! | The star of the day

It is quite amazing that Bangladesh is on its way to becoming a major source of recycled yarns and fabrics made from plastic bottles. According to reports, some Bangladeshi companies have already set up factories investing hundreds of taka crores to make flakes from waste plastic bottles, which will be used to make yarn and fabrics. Recycled yarns are used to make certain high value-added clothing items such as jerseys, jackets, quilts, padding and outerwear. It is a growing global trend to make yarn from recycled plastic bottles as western consumers are increasingly concerned about saving the environment from plastic pollution. As the demand for these garments is increasing worldwide, Bangladesh can seize this opportunity to become a major producer of plastic yarns and fabrics.

According to reports, international retailers and brands are asking suppliers to add 25-30% of the plastic raw material to the finished garments. Bangladeshi companies mainly import these recycled yarns from China. But the price of yarn has risen a lot in the international market, leading some Bangladeshi companies to consider producing their own plastic flakes and yarn.

It is good to know that already seven local mills have set up factories to produce flakes from waste plastic bottles. While some of them have already started production, they are struggling to get the raw material needed for production. The problem is that plastic waste and bottles are usually collected informally. If this process could be formalized and incentivized, collection would certainly increase. Also, the seabed of the Bay of Bengal could be explored to extract the plastic bottles that currently pollute its waters.

Being the 10th most plastic polluting country in the world (according to the Earth Day Network, 2018), our priority should be to invest more in setting up recycling facilities. The National Action Plan for the Sustainable Management of Plastics has set a goal of recycling 50% of plastic by 2025. In order to reach this goal, more companies should offer to manufacture plastic flakes to be used for manufacture clothing products. Additionally, recycled plastic can be used to make many common household products. While it is very important to reduce our consumption of plastic, it is equally vital to reuse and recycle them. And we believe more Bangladeshi businesses will come forward to set up recycling plants to help tackle plastic pollution in the country.

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