Dubai: Employees help turn thousands of plastic bottles into T-shirts in major recycling drive

Dewa collected more than 220,000 plastic bottles and cans through the smart machines they had set up in some of their buildings


Angel Tesorero

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Published: Fri 19 May 2023, 1:16 PM

Last updated: Fri 19 May 2023, 1:59 PM

From plastic bottles to T-shirts: This is what employees of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) have contributed after they recycled around 221,900 plastic bottles and aluminium cans that were used to produce over 11,600 T-shirts and other products.

Dewa said in a statement on Friday: “Placing great importance on environmental sustainability across all (our) projects in line with (our) vision to become a globally leading sustainable innovative corporation committed to achieving Net Zero by 2050.

The initiative is also in line with Dewa’s circular economy strategy and Dubai Integrated Waste Management Strategy 2021-2041, which seeks to encourage innovation in waste management and recycling as well as converting waste to energy, in addition to providing practical solutions to environmental challenges.

“Protecting the environment is a top priority for Dewa, which aims, during the Year of Sustainability, to increase awareness among employees and customers on the need to care for the environment, preserve natural resources, and adopt sustainable practices at home and in the workplace,” the utility authority added.

Smart recycling machines

To encourage their employees to practise recycling, Dewa provided smart machines to recycle plastic bottles in some of its buildings.

The machines are operated using Dewa’s smart office app for employees and they receive points for each recycling operation, which are entered into a raffle draw to win valuable prizes monthly.

Since installing the smart machines in October last until the end of April 2023, DEWA’s employees have recycled 221,900 plastic bottles and aluminium cans, which were turned over to a local manufacturing company that were used to produce over 11,600 T-shirts and other products

How plastic bottles are made into T-shirts?

First, recycled bottles are sorted and stripped of anything that can’t be processed like bottle caps and labels.

The plastic bottles are then washed and shredded into plastic flakes, before being melted at high pressure, extruded, and spun into a polyester yarn that can be used to make t-shirts, dresses, leggings, and other sustainable clothing options.


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