"You can make suits from a bottle" - Can plastic bottles be the new Egyptian cotton?

"You can make suits from a bottle" - Can plastic bottles be the new Egyptian cotton?
Copyright Photo by Anna Kolosyuk on Unsplash
By Doloresz Katanich with Reuters
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An Egyptian factory uses recycled plastic bottles to produce polyester fibre as a cheaper alternative to cotton, after the country's cotton crop witnessed many hiccups.


After the country's cotton crop witnessed many hiccups, a few emerging recycling factories started to reuse plastic bottles to make fibre, which is then used to make polyester fabric.

Cotton production in the country has slumped since 2011, a year of political upheaval that coincided with looser regulations that degraded the quality of local cotton.

Recent government efforts are helping boost production but manufacturers say purchasing cotton remains expensive. And this is where these recycling factories come to fill the gap; owners believe that the cheaper fabric can be a good alternative seeing the decline in Egypt's historic cotton industry.

The Pharaohs Polyester Staple Fibre Factory is one of them.

"The use of cotton (has decreased) by a big percentage, firstly because in Egypt less cotton is being planted, and it is starting to decrease globally too. They (manufacturers) call this (fibre) the alternative to cotton. They use it instead of cotton. They use it for a lot of things as an alternative of cotton," said the director of the factory, Ahmed Gemeay.

According to the manufacturers, polyester made from recycled fibre is increasingly in demand in the market and is being added to the once pure-cotton fabrics used in textile.

Click on the video above to see how plastic waste is turned into fabric.

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