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The Other Kind of "PET"

This week, we’ve pretty well covered how to green your pets [www.sundance.tv], so today we want to talk about another kind of “PET” — the plastic kind, also known as “polyethylene terephthalate” or “number 1 plastic.” As Wikipedia tells us [en.wikipedia.org], PET is “a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in synthetic fibers; beverage, food and other liquid containers; thermoforming applications; and engineering resins often in combination with glass fiber. It is one of the most important raw materials used in man-made fibers.” What does that really mean? It can be used for all sorts of stuff, and is highly reusable and recyclable. Here are some of TreeHugger’s favorites when it comes to putting PET to good use.

1) Sao Paolo businessman Eduardo Pereira de Carvalho took a trip down the São Francisco River in a boat whose basement is composed by recycled PET bottles [www.treehugger.com], traveling 1371 kilometers (that’s about 850 miles) in all.
2) Not content with a simple boat trip, this guy [www.treehugger.com] built himself an entire island out of recycled bottles; pretty wacky-sounding, for sure, but a pretty ingenious example of how to be totally self-sufficient and free.
3) Argentine architect Carlos Levinton (pictured above) is working hard to provide better options [www.treehugger.com] for constructing and maintaining buildings for folks in developing countries, like using PET bricks [www.treehugger.com] for construction.

4) As important as recycling is figuring out a way to close the loop [www.treehugger.com] on waste created by so many water, soda and other PET bottles, and this is a start.
5) Retailer Marks & Spencer is giving this idea a go, using recycled PET for packaging [www.treehugger.com] in an effort to cut back on waste.
6) In the same vein, Wolf Blass Wines [www.treehugger.com] has begun packaging their vino in PET bottles, instead of glass, cutting back on waste and the energy needed to transport and recycle the bottles.

7) Recycled PET is good for more than just more bottles (or boats. Or islands). Artist Miriam Mitsuko Utsumi [www.treehugger.com] uses it to make beautiful bags, pouches, storage options and more.
8) Patagonia has gotten really creative, using recycled PET [www.treehugger.com] to make jeans, jackets, footwear and more.