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What do baby diapers and car floor carpet systems have in common?

What do the diapers that a baby uses and the carpet mats in your car both have in common? Fibres. And, not just any fibres, we’re talking about high quality polyester fibres prepared from crushed post-consumer PET bottles. Perhaps from a PET bottle, the contents of which you recently consumed and disposed of in a sorted-waste container.

Does that seem a bit far fetched? Well, it’s really true! Today, modern technologies make it possible to process used PET bottles so that they can be reused in the form of either new PET bottles, or a range of other products like the aforementioned baby diapers or car mats.

There are a good deal of products in which we find the material known as rPET. You likely interact with PET bottles in their various states from the moment your day begins in the morning until last thing at night. The mattress you sleep on almost certainly contains fibres made from PET flakes. When you go out jogging, your sportswear and sneakers could well be made from recycled plastic. Your car’s cleanliness is being maintained using components made from rPET. In the wintertime on your way to work, you could literally be wearing a PET bottle if you have a fleece jacket on, since the flakes serve as the basis for the textile fibre from which your jacket was subsequently produced. And, just for your information, 10 PET bottles = 1 winter jacket!

SILON & TESIL: established names with new content

silon infographicsOne of the companies that makes these miracles happen - transforming used PET into new products for daily use - is SILON in Planá nad Lužnicí (CZ). A company with nearly 70 years of experience and well known for, amongst other things, its long running production of the popular fashion product “silonky” (nylon stockings).

In 1996, their production portfolio was transformed and SILON became the first company in Europe to introduce the continuous production of polyester fibres from post-consumer PET bottles (PET flakes). Today, the company designs, produces and sells polyolefin-based performance compounds and polyester fibre for applications in construction, the automotive industry, for hygienic and medical applications, as well as for general industrial applications. Nowadays SILON is among the biggest processors of PET flakes in Europe.

The company plant annually consumes about one billion PET bottles. The new production line, introduced in 2016, contributes about a quarter of this volume and the pulp from PET bottles is delivered from up to 26 European countries. One of their suppliers is FCC Environment CEE, through the company Purum Ltd. “Annually, we supply this process with several hundred tons of PET material, which is collected in our Group” - Lucie Zumrová, Head of FCC Environment CEE Group Communication and CSR.

Since 1966, “TESIL” has been the synonym and trade name for the non-creasing, synthetic fabric of polyester fibre. But, it has also recently undergone something of a transformation and now behind the name lies a a high quality polyester fibre product - made from recycled PET flakes - which is produced using crushed post-consumer PET bottles. TESIL fibre is favoured by almost all of the important European automotive brands for the production of head-liners, floor carpet systems, passenger compartment insulation, luggage compartment lining or wheel housings.

TESIL fibres play an indispensable role in the transport and distribution layers of non-wovens for the hygiene industry, as well as having many other specialised applications. PET fibre takes care of fluid management in hygienic products such as baby diapers, adult incontinence pads and feminine hygiene disposables. The company SILON is a pioneer in the use of fibres from recycled PET bottles in the field of hygiene. You will not find similar technology anywhere else in Europe.

The PET business in Europe; a challenge for all of us

In Europe, 29.1 million tonnes of plastic waste are generated annually, 32.5% of which is recycled (81% Inside EU, 19% Outside EU), 42.6% of which is used for energy recovery, with only 24.9% ending up at landfill. Since 2006, the amount of plastic waste being sent to be recycled has doubled.

 silon plastics


Recycling is the first option for plastic packaging waste. By 2018, 17.8 million tonnes of plastic post-consumer packaging waste was being collected yearly for treatment. 42% of which was recycled, 39.5% was used for energy recovery, with only 18.5% going to landfill. Since 2006, the quantity of plastic post-consumer packaging waste sent to recycling has increased by 92%.

By 2025, according to European legislation, 25 percent recycled plastic is to be used for the production of plastic packaging, which will no longer just be made from so-called virgin plastic (made directly from oil). But recyclability limits need to be kept in mind; plastics, as such, can be recycled in three to five cycles before degradation.

This target is a challenge for everyone, and although the observed recycling rates and trends seems to be a cause for optimism, there is still potential for improvement. And that should definitely be a goal for all of us.



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Why with us

  • International team of experts

    Our team of more than 4,300 employees in 7 countries of CEE signs responsible for the smooth operation of all our services.

  • Waste as a resource

    Thanks to modern waste treatment solutions we give 650,000 tons of secondary raw materials a second life annually.

  • Just in time

    Nearly 1.25 million containers, skips and bins of all sizes and  1,300 trucks or special vehicles ensure secure and efficient collection and transport of all waste for further treatment.

  • Experienced service provider

    7 countries, 1,400 municipalities and 4.3 mil residents served, 21 joint-ventures with municipalities, 51,000 industrial clients. This is our brief profile.

FCC Environment CEE Group in figures

1,300 trucks and special vehicles

Over 1,250,000 containers and bins

73 collection yards

39 transfer stations

34 sorting plants

7 RDF (alternative fuels treatment)

6 splitting plants

14 mechanical biological treatment plants and/or composting

23 landfills

1 waste-to-energy-plant for household and commercial waste

1 incineration facility for hazardous waste

4.3 mil residents served

4.8 mil t/a of waste processed

7 countries

almost 51,500 industrial clients

Partner of 1,400 municipalities

21 joint-ventures with municipalities

more than 0.65 mil t/a SRM handled

200 GWh/a generated by W2E plants and landfills cogeneration units

3,669 km of streets cleaned

398 hectares of green areas maintained 

Did you know?
FCC CEE Group has more than 10 years of experience in used clothes business
Did you know?
300 to 400 kg of compost can be produced from 1 tonne of biodegradable waste
Did you know?
Metals and glass are 100% recyclable
Did you know?
In Europe, up to 90% of the green glass bottle is made of recycled glass
Did you know?
More than 0,7 litres of base lube oil can be produced from 1,0 litre of used mineral oil and is being used for engine, transmission and hydraulic oils
Did you know?
With the energy needed for productions of 1 drink can from bauxite, it is possible to produce 20 cans from recycled aluminium
Did you know?
Recycling of 1 tonne of steel saves 1.100 kilograms of coal, and 55 kilograms of limestone
Did you know?
Used paper can be recycled and used in fresh paper production up to 6 times
Did you know?
Recycling 1 tonne of paper saves more than 2 tonnes of wood
Did you know?
1 tonne of refuse-derived fuel produced by FCC CEE Group 600 kilograms of heating oil or more than 800 kilograms of stone coal
Did you know?
Recycling of plastics saves limited virgin raw materials (crude oil and natural gas) and reduces energy consumption by 80 to 90%