Recycled Polyester Round Table

About the Recycled Polyester Round Table

Textile Exchange’s Recycled Polyester (rPET) Round Table is a global multi-stakeholder network aiming to increase the uptake of recycled polyester by providing a forum for members to safely express and discuss challenges, compare experiences, and hear about latest news and technologies from leading thinkers.

The rPET Round Table is chaired by Elayne Masterson of World Textile Sourcing, and currently has over 120 individual members from 73 companies/organizations. Approximately half of members are brands/retailers, a quarter are suppliers, and the remaining represent other sectors such as non-profits, certification bodies, or academia.

Members meet virtually every month, and in-person once every year for the annual Recycled Polyester Round Table Summit, held alongside Textile Exchange’s annual Textile Sustainability Conference. A new online home for the rPET Round Table was launched at the start of 2020 in Textile Exchange’s membership portal, the Hub.

2021 Textile Sustainability Conference

2021 Round Table Summit Sponsors:

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Silver - Egedeniz Textile
Silver - Maniftura
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Importance of the Recycled Polyester Round Table

Polyester is a manmade fiber, synthesized from petrochemical products by a process called polymerization. Accounting for 52% of global fiber production in 2018, polyester is the most widely used fiber in the apparel sector: more than 55.1 million MT of polyester was produced in 2018 alone (source: Textile Exchange’s Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report). Production of polyester fabric involves significant quantities of chemicals, raw materials and by-products that are toxic and can pollute water and air and cause health issues.

Recycled polyester is promoted by Textile Exchange as a preferred alternative to virgin polyester. It can be either mechanically or chemically recycled, with feedstock consisting of either pre- or post-consumer waste that can no longer be used for its intended purpose, including the return of materials from the distribution chain.

There remains much to be done to reach economies of scale for recycled polyester; challenges are still to be overcome in the factory, the marketplace, and in communities where recycling and bring-back schemes need to be improved. Textile Exchange’s Recycled Polyester Round Table works to find solutions to the technical, societal, and commercial barriers to growth of recycled polyester’s market share.

Goals of the Recycled Polyester Round Table:
  • Replace the use of virgin PET with rPET

  • Create price parity based on product performance, quality and sustainable profiles

  • Increase rPET availability

  • Improve education around rPET and circularity

How to get involved:

Membership of the Recycled Polyester Round Table is not exclusive to Textile Exchange members. If you are interested in joining this Round Table, please contact Materials@TextileExchange.org.

2020 Round Table Summit

Over 150 attendees joined and contributed to our 2020 Recycled Polyester (rPET) Round Table Summit including representatives from brands, retailers, suppliers, non-profits, innovators, researchers, and recycling experts.

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Archives

2019 RPET ROUND TABLE SUMMIT

The 2019 Recycled Polyester (rPET) Round Table Summit took place in Vancouver on October 15 during Textile Exchange’s 2019 Textile Sustainability Conference and was our biggest yet, with almost 200 participants in attendance. The afternoon was packed with unique insights from industry experts into the most topical issues facing the sector right now. Attendees dug deeper and put speakers to the test by asking some very thought-provoking questions.

When & Where
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Thank you to ESTS Global for being a Contributor level sponsor of the 2019 rPET Round Table.

Thanks to the 2019 conference sponsors supporting this Round Table:

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GHCL Logo
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Itochu Logo
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Janel speaking at the rPET Round Table 2019
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Topics Covered Included:

  • A call to action put forward by Samsonite to “change your goal”,
  • Microfibre release update from The Microfibre Consortium,
  • Technology developments including examples from JEPLAN, Eastman, and Tyton BioSciences,
  • GRS update presented by Textile Exchange,
  • UNFCCC & ACP updates presented by Fabrikology,
  • rPET Round Table Government Working Group update presented by group co-lead Traci Kinden,
  • Legislation updates and examples presented by EURATEX and National Stewardship Action Council.
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Agenda

2:00

Opening

Elayne Masterson, Contributing Partner | Fabrikology International

2:05

Call to Action

Janel Twogood, Senior Design Director | Samsonite

2:15

Microfibers

Sophie Mather, Material Futurist | biov8tion Ltd

2:40

Technology Developments

Yukari Ishizu, Senior Manager | Jeplan Inc.
Holli Alexander, Strategic Initiatives Manager | Eastman
Peter Majeranowski, CEO | Tyton Biosciences

3:55

Break

4:15

Global Recycling Standard

Ashley Gill, Senior Manager of Industry Integrity | Textile Exchange

4:40

UNFCCC/APC

Karla Magruder, Founder | Fabrikology International

4:55

Legislation

Traci Kinden, President | REvolve Waste
Mauro Scalia, Director Sustainable Businesses | Euratex
Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director & Joanne Brasch, Special Projects Manager | US National Stewardship Action Council

5:55

Close

Elayne Masterson, Contributing Partner | Fabrikology International

2018 RPET ROUND TABLE IN MILAN

More than 100 stakeholders with different expertise and backgrounds including suppliers, brands and researchers participated in the Recycled Polyester Round Table Summit at Textile Exchange’s Textile Sustainability Conference in Milan on October 22, 2018, which was kindly sponsored by NSF. The meeting was hosted by Fabrikology’s Karla Magruder, previous Chair of Textile Exchange’s rPET Round Table (since succeeded by Fabrikology’s Elayne Masterson), with support from Sevilla Granger of Textile Exchange.

When & Where

2018 Partner

Thank you to NSF for being a Partner level sponsor of the 2018 rPET Round Table.

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Market Updates

Susan Mair and Matt Tudball of ICIS presented some of the latest figures:

  • 70 million tons global PET capacity
  • 66% goes to fiber – 57 million tons
  • By 2030 20% will be rPET
  • China has 69% of PET capacity
  • China ban – increased virgin and move to other Asian countries
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Market Collaborations

Maurizio Crippa, CEO of Gr3n, presented on rPET in bottles:

  • 5% of global PET is recycled
  • Textiles create 33 MT of textile waste and recycles < 0.1 MT
  • Packaging creates 23 MT of packaging waste and recycles 9 MT
  • Packaging companies are making large commitments, there’s not enough material to meet commitments.
  • Packaging companies have partnered with new chemical recycling technologies
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Microfibers

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Maurizio Crippa, CEO of Gr3n, presented on rPET in bottles:

  • 5% of global PET is recycled
  • Textiles create 33 MT of textile waste and recycles < 0.1 MT
  • Packaging creates 23 MT of packaging waste and recycles 9 MT
  • Packaging companies are making large commitments, there’s not enough material to meet commitments.
  • Packaging companies have partnered with new chemical recycling technologies

rPET Round Table: Where We Need to Go...2030

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Legislation

  • Clear bottles
  • Collection
  • rPET mandatory % product content
  • Preferential tariffs

Quality 

  • Standardize chip quality
  • GRS use as baseline

Brands & Retailers 

  • Economics
  • Support new technologies
  • Match performance to products
  • Cross industry collaborations

Consumer Awareness

  • Campaigns to support multi-sector use
  • Storytelling
  • Youth education
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Textile Exchange wants to thank again our 2018 rPET Round Table sponsor NSF, as well as all participants.
We very much look forward to continuing these discussions.