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Sri Lankan plant turns PET bottles directly into polyester yarns

A first-of-its-kind plant in Sri Lanka’s Horana export processing zone is poised to transform post-consumer plastic bottles into polyester yarn. The facility is owned by BPPL Holdings, a manufacturer of brooms, brushes and mops. It features cutting-edge spinning and texturing machinery from Europe that will make it a game changer for the industry.

The 13,000 sq. mt. plant will be one of two in the world to create yarn directly from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) flakes, a tack that bypasses the polymerization process of converting flakes to chips and then yarn. The new plant, which boasts a capacity of 960 tons of yarn per year, will be able to supply 15 per cent of the polyester yarn required by Sri Lanka’s textile and apparel sectors. Ten plastic bottles provide enough yarn to produce a single T-shirt. It also has dope-dyeing capabilities to create colored yarn as part of the extrusion process.

By sourcing polyester yarn from Sri Lanka, fabric manufacturers can significantly reduce lead times and also lower inventory costs. To ensure its yarn meets strict international standards—and appeal to potential clients abroad—BPPL abides by the Global Recycled Standard, Restricted Substances Lists and Oeko-Tex Standard 100.