Last November, I wrote about a laptop sleeve I had received from act2 – GreenSmart that was made out of 6 recycled 16oz plastic bottles, which I thought was pretty cool:
A few weeks ago the people from act2 – GreenSmart were kind enough to send me one of their new products, a vertical messenger bag made from 23 plastic bottles. Now my recycled bottle laptop sleeve has a place to call home!
Here is the bag in it’s natural habitat – my front yard. 😉 It’s a vertical messenger bag so your laptop goes in sideways, making the bag a little bit easier to carry as there is less of hit hitting my back as I walk or ride my bike to the local coffee joint.
Inside there is plenty of room for my laptop, a few books, sunglasses, my iPhone, and pretty much anything else I want to carry with me. The laptop pocket is padded to give even more protection for your computer. There are a bunch of pockets on the front that get covered once you close the big flap.
On the back there is yet another zippered pocket for storing more stuff, but there is so much room inside that I have not needed to use it yet. Overall, the bag seems incredibly strong for being made out of recycled plastic and it weighs barely anything – which is great compared to some messenger bags I have had in the past. So how do they take plastic bottles and turn them into bags and laptop sleeves? Funny you should ask…
Bottles are hand sorted by the collector to remove non-PET and other visual impurities. The greater the separation process, the more value the resulting material has since the refinement process will require fewer steps. After sorting bottles are compacted into bales for efficient transport to processing plants. One bale is over 6000 bottles, enough to process into 350 yards of finished fabric.
Bales are ground into a rough material called PET flakes to be prepared for conversion to a raw material source. After washing, the highest quality ground flakes are chemically separated from impurities and converted to PET chips through a process known as de-polymerizing and re-polymerizing. Once complete, the resulting fibers can be woven into yarns. PET fibers are separated by size and fed into yarn twisting machinery. Each yard of finished fabric has consumed approximately 18, 16 oz. bottles and saved 10,000 Btus from manufacturing, enough power to light a 17 watt compact fluorescent light for 15 hours.
While I cannot advocate buying new products just for the sake of being “green” when whatever you have now might be perfectly fine, I can tell you that this bag could not have come at a better time – my last bag made of hemp is about finished with it’s life and it was time for a new one. So next time you are in need of a bag like this, you might want to check these guys out – it’s a great bag and one I can say will probably last me a pretty long time! act2 – GreenSmart
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