United States – In the USA, a Georgia-based firm has announced a deal to recycle plastic bottles discarded in Yellowstone National Park. Universal Textile has committed to purchasing the recyclable plastic bottles Yellowstone collects each year and to converting them into a non-woven, fleece material used to manufacture high-performance backing for carpet and synthetic turf.
The Georgia Tech Research Institute has provided third-party verification for the project. Officials say the deal will reduce the amount of plastic that goes into landfills, helping Yellowstone meet its recycling goals. Previously, most of the plastics collected in Yellowstone were sold to overseas companies which used them to produce containers and other items for marketing back in the USA.
‘Yellowstone was created as the world’s first national park in 1872,’ comments its environmental protection specialist Jim Evanoff. ‘We have an obligation to set the example for promoting sound environmental stewardship practices that will serve as a model for future generations. This new partnership not only diverts plastics from landfills, it dramatically decreases the fuel and other resources used to transport materials around the planet.’ The Universal Textile process uses soybean-based chemicals derived from domestically-grown soybeans.