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Unifi to Recycle 20 Billion Plastic Bottles by 2020, Launches Repreve Sustainability Awards

In honor of America Recycles Day on Wednesday, Unifi Inc., a leader in branded recycled performance fibers, announces it has recycled more than 10 billion plastic bottles and is targeting 20 billion bottles to be recycled by 2020 and 30 billion by 2022.

To recognize customers who have partnered for this achievement, Unifi is also launching the Repreve Champions of Sustainability Awards. Repreve fibers are extruded from the PET material derived from recycled plastic bottles. The fiber is found in products from many top brands, including New Era, Levi’s, Target and Ford.

“Reaching 10 billion bottles is an impressive milestone and by committing to recycle an additional 20 billion by 2022, we will continue to expand our portfolio of Repreve-based performance products,” said Kevin Hall, chief executive officer of Unifi, based in Greensboro, North Carolina. “With nearly 70 percent of plastic bottles in the United States going to landfills, America Recycles Day is a perfect time to remind people to recycle more and buy sustainable products. Repreve provides a solution for plastic bottles as long as they make it to a recycling bin.”

To put the achievement into perspective, Unifi noted that 10 billion bottles can fill the Empire State Building 7.2 times, that placed end to end they can circle the earth more than 50 times, and that the recycled bottles used to create Reperve fiber, filament and chip instead of the virgin polyester and nylon equivalent can save enough energy to power 95,000 homes for one year.

[Read more about Repreve: Repreve’s New Playbook for Broncos Gear: A Cap From Plastic Bottles]

The Repreve Champions of Sustainability Awards will acknowledge those companies that are committed to manufacturing sustainable products with Repreve performance fibers.

“Unifi could not have reached the 10 billion-bottle milestone without the commitment from our customers to provide earth-friendly products, and the Repreve Champions of Sustainability Awards give us the opportunity to thank our partners who helped make it possible,” Hall said. “A vast difference can be made if more companies recognize the impact they have on our planet and take steps to reduce it.”

The 2017 winners of the Repreve Champions of Sustainability Awards will be announced at the 2018 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market that takes place in Denver on Jan. 25 to 28.

Unifi’s net sales increased 2.7% to $164.2 million in the first quarter ended Sept. 4. Revenues from premium value-added products grew 5.5% compared to the prior-year period and represented more than 40 percent of consolidated net sales.