IOC will recycle 20 million PET bottles each year and create environmentally friendly uniforms
According to the Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the nation’s largest oil company will recycle 20 million discarded mineral water, cold drink, and other PET bottles each year to make eco-friendly uniforms for staff who work at its petrol pumps and LPG distributor agencies. IOC Chairman SM Vaidya launched a special ‘sustainable and green’ uniform exclusively designed for the company’s nearly 3 lakh fuel station attendants and LPG gas delivery personnel in a glittering ceremony titled ‘Unbottled – Towards a Greener Future.’
“Every day, 3.1 crore people visit our gas stations.” Every day, we deliver 27 lakh LPT cylinders and refuel 3,500 aircraft. Every day, our tank trucks travel 15 lakh kilometers. “We’re everywhere,” he said during the launch event.
IOC, which supplies up to half of the country’s fuel, has already committed to a net zero emission target by 2046 and is now venturing into PET bottle recycling, he added. PET waste is empty PET packaging discarded by the consumer after use. The IOC will set up a collection agency to collect such bottles (20 million per year) and convert them into yarn for weaving or knitting fabric. This will then be given to a textile company to make uniforms for IOC’s petrol pump attendants and LPG gas agency employees.
OC is the first Indian company to directly enter the PET bottle recycling market.
These uniforms’ dress materials are made from recycled polyester derived from the processing of used and discarded PET bottles. This initiative would support the recycling of approximately 405 tonnes of PET bottles, which is equivalent to offsetting over 20 million bottles per year.
Bollywood actor and environmental activist Bhum Pednekar has given her name to the initiative.
“These eco-friendly uniforms will shine as our green commitment, and I am delighted that our frontline energy soldiers will wear them,” Vaidya said.
“Every year, approximately 8 million metric tonnes of plastic enter the ocean, and approximately 150 million metric tonnes circulate in our marine ecosystems.” At this rate, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050. “The transformation of plastic bottles into fabric is a beautiful example of how problem-solving diligence opens doors to new opportunities,” he said.
Vaidya also mentioned the IOC’s other eco-conservation efforts, such as concerted efforts to protect the Indian Single Horned Rhino and the reintroduction of Cheetahs into Indian forests after they became extinct over seven decades ago.
While lauding IOC’s green outreach, Bhumi Pednekar stated, “Each of us can play a significant role by embracing sustainability as a 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.” Thank you and congratulations to Indian Oil.”
Pednekar, a passionate advocate for climate change, has also launched the pan-India campaign Climate Warriors to raise environmental awareness and inspire citizens to embrace greener lifestyle choices.
Used plastic bottles are shredded into flakes and then melted into micro-pellets as part of the IOC’s green initiative. These micro-pellets are converted into yearns, which are then used to weave the green clothing.
This fabric’s environmental impact extends beyond its recycling benefits. The clothes have the same quality as virgin polyester, but they are made with far fewer resources.
Its production uses nearly 60% less energy and reduces CO2 emissions by nearly one-third when compared to virgin polyester. Even after these garments have been worn out, the used Polycotton uniforms can be mechanically recycled and converted into low-cost quilts, blankets, or even high-end denim fabric. The fabric is certified to the Global Recycling Standard.