Day 292 – First Mile is a business that is monitoring the plastic supply chain. Consumers can have confidence that the products they are purchasing came from recycled material and those responsible for collecting that plastic are being compensated accordingly. From the moment that plastic bottle is picked up from the street to the time it is created into a new product and sold to the consumer, First Mile is tracking every step.
Here is how First Mile describes their process:
- People in the First Mile of our supply chain collect bottles from the streets, their neighbors, and yes, even the landfill to trade for cash at a local plastic collection center.
- Once prepared and bundled, those bottles are piled high on a truck and transported to a recycling facility for processing.
- Workers at each recycling facility unload and grind the bottles to make plastic flakes. Labels and caps are removed to prevent non-PET material from reaching later phases of the supply chain. High-quality flake means superior fabric and ultimately a better livelihood for people in the First Mile.
- Recycled plastic flake is extruded into fine strands, then texturized into a soft fiber that rivals other organic materials.
- Fiber can be spun and texturized to create a more substantial strand of yarn. Innovation in these steps allows recycled content like First Mile to take the place of traditional materials, without compromising feel or flex.
- First Mile recycled yarn can be woven or knit to create unique fabrics and textures.
Many name brands are using First Mile plastic in their products.
- U.S. Bank uses recycled plastic in their debit cards.
- Puma uses recycled plastic in their shoes and clothing.
- Day Owl uses recycled plastic in their bags.
- Ralph Lauren uses recycled plastic in their polos.
- Hewlett Packard uses recycled plastic in their computers.
These days it is hard to know if we are being greenwashed or if companies are doing what they say they are doing to help protect the planet. It is nice to know that there are organizations like First Mile helping us decipher the truth from the lies.
Tomorrow, green goo that won’t gross you out.