Shoes, clothes… spices? What else can recycled plastic bottles turn into?

Can you imagine? This pair of shoes was still three plastic bottles two weeks ago.

▲Picture from: FastCompany

A start-up company based in San Francisco woven these shoes using filament fibers made from ground plastic bottles. When the company called Rothy's was exploring how to make shoes more sustainable, they realized that they could use waste materials to make shoes.

This pair of shoes uses only three materials: the upper and the insole are made entirely of recycled plastic water bottles, and there is a layer of recyclable sponge between the rubber sole and the insole.

▲Picture from: FastCompany

"Traditional footwear industry generally has serious overcapacity, because there are too many footwear sizes and styles, it is difficult to order raw materials according to actual needs."

Said Roth Martin, co-founder and chief creative officer of the startup.

"Seamless design is also more comfortable." Rose said. "Your foot is in contact with a novel material. Thanks to the knitted structure, it can maintain its shape very well."

▲Picture from: FastCompany

With shoes, clothes are naturally indispensable.

Five years ago, the founder of apparel company Aday and her team wanted to improve the sustainability of the brand in an innovative way. This is a difficult task for a new brand that has just been born in a highly competitive market. In the end they chose to bet on "environmental protection."

"As a brand, it represents more than just clothing. There should be a deeper reason why it exists in the world," said Nina Faulhaber, the founder of Aday.

▲Picture from: Ada

Aday's jacket called Waste Nothing uses 41 plastic water bottles to make. The plastic bottle is broken down into particles, and then made into a single piece of fabric in a textile factory in North Carolina, and then sent to Taiwan to be blended with other materials to make Aay's proprietary fabric.

What's interesting is that when you don't want to wear it anymore, it can be broken down and turned into a new dress again.

▲Picture from: Aday

In addition to being worn on the body, recycled plastic water bottles can even be eaten in the mouth.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have found a way to use E. coli to convert recycled plastic into vanillin. Vanillin is the main flavor source of vanilla beans. It can be natural, but in our actual life, it is often synthesized artificially.

"This is the first time biology has been used to convert plastic waste into high-value molecules like vanillin." said Stephen Wallace, a lecturer in biotechnology.

▲Picture from: Irina Kaminskaya

At present, researchers are still studying further to understand whether the purity of vanillin converted from plastic can meet the edible standard.

Wallace said that the next step will increase the conversion efficiency, thereby increasing the production of vanillin. In the future, our vanilla perfume or vanilla ice cream may help us solve environmental problems.

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