In the outskirts of Colombo, a factory spins yarn from recycled PET bottles

Every month, Sri Lanka imports 1,200 tons of plastic to manufacture PET bottles for carbonated beverages and drinking water. BPPL, a recycling company, cleans, crushes and processes the equivalent of 20% of PET bottle imports.

Gathered at collection centres across the country, the bottles are compressed for easy transport. At the recycling plant at Horana, they are weighed, sorted, washed and crushed into flakes. Cleaning compressed plastic bottles is water-intensive. To maintain their green credentials, the factory also recycles the water, with only 5% being discharged post-treatment.

The plastic flakes are then sent to the company’s yarn production facility, one of two plants in the world capable of spinning yarn directly from plastic flakes. This yarn is finally knitted or woven into fabric used to make clothing and footwear.

1,200 tons

monthly plastic imports for PET bottle manufacture

300 tons

PET bottles washed at BPPL’s Horana plant (monthly)

27 bottles

recycled yarn to make a graduation gown

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