IOC to recycle 20 mn PET bottles annually for eco-friendly uniforms

India’s largest oil firm Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will recycle 20 million discarded PET bottles of cold drinks, mineral water, and others annually to make eco-friendly uniforms for staff. In the prestigious ceremony named ‘Unbottled – Towards a Greener future, a special ‘sustainable and green’ uniform was launched by IOC chairman SM Vaidya. The uniform is designed exclusively for nearly 3 lakh fuel station attendants and LPG gas delivery personnel of the company.

At the event, the Chairman said that “There are 3.1 crore footfalls at our petrol stations every day. We deliver 27 lakh LPG cylinders per day and refuel 3,500 aircraft daily. Our tank trucks traverse 15 lakh kilometers a day. We are there everywhere”.

He added saying that IOC is meeting almost half of India’s fuel needs and has already committed to a net zero emission target by 2046 and is now ready to get into recycling PET bottles.

Empty PET bottles discarded by the consumer after use becomes environmental waste. IOC will deploy an agency to collect 20 million annually of these wastes and convert them into yarn to weave or knit fabric. The textile company will manufacture uniforms for IOC’s petrol pump attendants and LPG gas agency staff from this knitted fabric.

 IOC has become the first Indian firm to directly venture into the recycling of PET bottles.

The uniform made out of recycled polyester derived from the processing of used and discarded PET bottles would support recycling about 405 tonnes of PET bottles and thus, offsetting over 20 million bottles yearly.

 Bhumi Pednekar, a Bollywood actor and environmental activist has agreed to endorse the same.

 Vaidya said,” These eco-friendly uniforms will shine as our green commitment, and I am delighted that our frontline energy soldiers will don them”.

Vaidya also mentioned that the way about 8 million metric tonnes of plastic enter the ocean annually, and about 150 million metric tonnes circulate in our marine ecosystems by 2050, there will be more plastics in the sea than fish. Recycling these wastes is the perfect example of we can open the door for new opportunities and simultaneously handle the biggest problem.

Vaidya compared the IOC’s eco-friendly initiative to be more fruitful compared to other initiatives for protecting the Indian Single Horned Rhino and the reintroduction of Cheetahs in Indian forests after they went extinct over seven decades ago.

Bhumi Pednekar, who was present at the event of the launch by IOC applaud them and said “Each of us can play a significant role by embracing sustainability as the way of life. As a citizen of the country, I feel proud that the country’s leading energy company is undertaking unique environmental efforts like these. My thanks and compliments to Indian Oil”.

The impact of this revolution is not just limited to recycling. The quality of the cloth matches virgin polyester but its manufacturing takes significantly fewer resources. 60 percent less energy is used and CO2 emissions are reduced by nearly one-third as compared to virgin polyester. These clothes when worn out, the used Polycotton uniforms can be mechanically recycled and converted into low-end quilts, blankets, or even high-end denim fabric. Even the fabric conforms to Global Recycling Standard Certification.

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