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  • Seoul to Make Leggings Out of Clear Plastic Bottles

  • Press Releases SMG 188
    • On March 10, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the launch of clothing and bags made out of transparent plastic bottles
    • The launch is expected to be a foundation for Seoul’s circular economy where locally discarded waste is locally recycled
    • Seoul will expand high-quality recycling through collaboration and improvement of the Separate Disposal-Collection-Selection process

    SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, March 10, 2021 – Transparent polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles collected by the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and its district offices have been reborn as apparel and bags, such as leggings and pleats bags. The recycled products were the results of a partnership agreement between the SMG and Hyosung TNC, signed last January.

    According to the SMG, the products were made from transparent PET bottles collected by the capital’s district offices. The collected bottles were sent to factories to go through a process of Flake (shattered plastic pieces)-Chip (recyclate)-Recycled Polyester Yarn to be created as another complete product.

    From last December, the SMG requires residents of apartment complexes to dispose of transparent PET bottles separately. In the past, the production of recycled items of high value was limited as transparent plastic bottles were not isolated from other waste. Hence, Korean manufacturers who needed recycled PET were importing the recyclate from overseas. The recent launch of recycled products is expected to be a foundation for a circular economy where locally produced waste is locally recycled.

    With continuous collaboration with districts of Geumcheon, Yeongdeungpo, and Gangnam, the SMG will enhance the quality of collected plastic bottles. The city government will also expand the high-value-added recycling to produce 100 tons of recycled fibers in the first half of this year, working in cooperation with Hyosung TNC.

    For the seamless implementation of the separate disposal and collection, the SMG will check until June whether apartment complexes have dedicated collection bags for transparent PET bottles and how well they are following the new rule.

    From last December 25, Seoul started to require apartment complexes to throw away transparent PET bottles separately from other plastic waste. A recent survey conducted by district offices of the capital showed that as of March 2, 2,206 (90%) out of 2,448 apartment complexes, which are subject to mandatory management, installed dedicated collection sacks for such bottles.

    “Waste resources that are left after consumption can be recreated as a high-value-added product when discarded separately,” said Jeong Mi-seon, head of Resources Recycling Division of the SMG.

    “Seoul will keep promoting the circular economy and virtuous cycle of waste resources that are produced within the city.”