rPET - recycled plastic

From potential marine pollution to new packaging

PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) is a specific type of plastic. In fact, it is the most common type of polyester. You typically encounter it in the form of water bottles. At Westpack, we have chosen to introduce products made from the material rPET. This abbreviation stands for ‘recycled PET’ (recycled mineral water bottles, in other words). And although we aim to reduce our overall use of plastic, we want to introduce more products made from rPET, because it helps reduce marine pollution.


Many people are aware of the existence of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. In a more popular term, it is known as “Garbage Island”, although that is a very misleading description of the phenomenon.

When plastic waste is not disposed of properly, it can easily find its way into the world’s oceans. Gradually, the plastic accumulates in gyres: large systems of circulating ocean currents.

Countless pictures show large islands of single-use packaging floating around as oceanic landfills. Although these islands exist, they are not representative of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which differs in a lot of ways.

Picture an area spanning 1.600.000 km2 (equivalent to 4 times the size of Germany) shrouded in a dense smog of microplastic particles. The water appears unclear, and the sunlight is dimmed. The microplastic is, of course, indigestible, which means that the marine pollution gradually finds its way into the food chain. This is not only damaging for oceanic life, but also for humans.

A significant side effect of the pollution is the fact that it reduces the oceans’ ability to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, leading to an increase in global warming.

What can be done?

There are more ways to counteract the formation of more microplastic pollution. One way is to reduce the use of plastic packaging globally. Another is to reuse packaging (like plastic bags or water bottles) multiple times. Yet another way is to recycle plastic.

At Westpack, we choose to introduce products made from rPET because it is a step in the right direction. Ideally, the water bottles would be reused multiple times before being discharged of properly – but recycling is the next-best thing. We have different product lines that are made using rPET, for example:

  • A collection of faux suede jewellery pouches
  • Boston Open ECO with a clear plastic window (window made from rPET)
  • Torino ECO
  • Seville ECO

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