Recycling Heroes: From bottle to bag

You can't tell by looking at them, but Affenzahn products are real recycling heroes: They are made of recycled PET bottles. We and all Affenzahn customers kill two birds with one stone: less waste in nature and less usage of natural resources.

3,100,000 - that's the amount of PET bottles that have not landed in the garbage since 2013, but in the production of Affenzahn backpacks, accessories and kids luggage. For our fabrics we use textiles which consist of 50% recycled PET bottles. This is why there are three PET bottles in each of our Small Friends and six bottles in each of our Large Friends.

Less wastage, more savings in water, oil & CO2

The bottles stem from Taiwan: they are collected locally near our fabric suppliers. Afterwards they get crushed into PET flakes and thoroughly cleaned. In the next step, the flakes are melted down to produce threads which can be made from the hot mixture - et voila, the yarn for our products is ready! You can read more about the complete production process in our article "From bottle to bag".

Step by step explanation of the exact process:

The fabrics of our backpacks are most often made from polyester. These polyester fabrics are usually made from crude oil. Alternatively, we use fabrics made from old PET bottles. Our fabrics are produced in Taiwan, where the following process takes place:

  1. collect & sort PET bottles The empty PET bottles are (mainly) collected in Taiwan and brought to the recycling facility.
  2. crushing & washing bottles The bottles are shredded into PET flakes. These are then cleaned in a water bath.
  3. produce pellets The PET flakes are melted down and mixed. The hot mass is then formed into thick threads and crushed into so-called pellets.
  4. spinning yarn The pellets are melted down and blown into wafer-thin polyester fibres. These are then twisted together and spun into long threads.
  5. weave fabric The yarn is clamped in high-tech weaving machines and woven into fabric webs.

This recycling process is certified by the Global Recycling Standard.

affenzahn-PET-Savings 1200x600 EN

Of course: PET recycling is also water- and energy-consuming. Compared to other polyester materials made from crude oil, however, it is much more resource-efficient: for example, we can reduce the amount of waste water in the manufacture of our backpacks by 20%, energy consumption by 50% and CO2 emissions by as much as 60%. In concrete terms, this means: 3.1 million recycled 0.5-liter PET bottles and 248 barrels of oil, 50,748 bathtubs full of water and 26 hot-air balloons filled with CO2, which we have been able to save since 2010.

Paying attention to people and nature

In the ongoing manufacturing process of our products, we also make sure that we act conscientiously and use resources sparingly and that the effects of our production on people and nature are kept to a minimum. As a FOND OF brand, we (and many of our fabric and material producers) are therefore bluesign® Sytempartner.

What is bluesign®?

As a bluesign® system partner, we are committed to using only certain chemicals in the production of our fabrics, especially when dyeing. These chemicals must then be filtered out so that they do not end up in the environment uncontrolled. In addition, all bluesign® system partners commit themselves to the following five principles:

  • Resource productivity
  • Consumer protection
  • Water protection
  • Emission control
  • Work safety
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