Each year, millions of metric tons of plastic infiltrate our oceans, where it harms marine life. A large component of this plastic is Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles (AKA plastic bottles).
This fact greatly disturbed YKK employees in Sri Lanka, who in response set up collection bins for ocean-bound plastic bottles, or bottles dumped into waterways that empty into oceans. With waste management not fully functioning in Sri Lanka, bottles and other plastic waste deposited in these waterways are the primary source of ocean plastic.
While removing ocean-bound plastic from the environment is not enough to act sustainably, it is a good first step. By utilizing yarn developed from these collected plastic bottles to create NATULON® Ocean Sourced® zippers, we are able to do our part in upcycling this plastic waste into higher value products. As of the end of March 2022, NATULON® zipper cumulative sales account for waste recycling of about 170 million plastic bottles (based on a bottle size of 29 g/bottle, or 500ml).
This small step of creating value for waste can be the momentum for bigger change. Helping to reduce the source of ocean plastic can lead to cleaner oceans and healthier marine life. We recognize that sustainability is a global effort and extends beyond us. By harnessing the creativity of employees, we are able to utilize innovation to help create a healthier planet.