Can Aurifil spools be recycled? Is there something that can be done to reduce your plastic production? How can we reuse our spools to prevent excess waste? Would it be possible to start using recycled plastic for your spools?
These are all questions that we regularly receive from our customers and are questions that we routinely ask ourselves. Finding the answers is not only important to us, it’s a passion. Today’s big news is our first step… it is our way to start tackling the issue of plastic waste.
As one of the leading manufacturers of 100% Cotton thread, we produce millions of yards of thread a year, used by quilters, sewists, and crafters to create quilts, garments, accessories, and other works of art. As most weights of Aurifil thread are wound on a plastic spool, this usage results in a high level of excess plastic. While we encourage traditional recycling and creative repurposing of spools, we also know that something more needs to be done. We’ve witnessed the devastation in our oceans, growing year after year and understand that such a high level of destruction will ultimately have an irreversible effect. We wanted to do something… to change something… to make a lasting and positive impact on our environment.
With a bit of research and determination, we discovered The Plastic Bank, a social enterprise headquartered in Canada which aims to clean up plastic waste from our oceans while providing valuable opportunities for people living in poverty. We took all of the necessary steps to develop a partnership that will allow us to offset our average yearly plastic production rate of 8000kg. This means that our involvement will support the collection and clearing of 8000kg of plastic from our oceans in areas of Haiti, Indonesia, The Philippines, and Brazil.
These efforts render Aurifil Plastic Neutral and we are excited to both give back to our earth while helping to create and promote positive work opportunities for people living in those key areas.
We have been endlessly impressed with the mission of The Plastic Bank. A company built on compassion and the desire for ecological and economical change, they have developed an amazingly smart platform that essentially turns plastic waste into a viable currency.Plastic Bank provides a consistent, above-market rate for plastic waste, thus incentivizing its collection. Individuals who gather the plastic can trade it for money, items or services. Plastic Bank also provides the ability for local entrepreneurs to set up and operate convenience stores for the poor, in which plastic waste is the currency.
Plastic collected through Plastic Bank is recycled and sold at a premium as Social Plastic®. This recycling ecosystem is sustained through the sale and use of that Social Plastic® by some of the world’s largest organizations. Over 1 million supporters have asked brands to support The Plastic Bank and Social Plastic®. In addition to using recycled Social Plastic®, both individuals and companies have the ability to offset theirown plastic footprint by going Plastic Neutral. This is how we unite the world to reduce global poverty while making plastic too valuable to enter our oceans.
We are incredibly honored and humbled to count ourselves among those influential companies and we are proud to be setting a new standard for sustainability in the quilting and textile industry.
LEARN MORE & GET INVOLVED
- Aurifil on Sustainability
- Aurifil – Plastic Neutral Press Release
- The Plastic Bank – What We Do
- The Plastic Bank – Get Involved
- Forbes: Can ‘Social Plastic’ Decrease Poverty–And Save The Planet?
- Forbes: ‘Social Plastic’ makes headway in Haiti
- Fast Company: Taking on Trash by Converting Plastic to Currency
- The Guardian: The social enterprise turning plastic waste into currency, for a cleaner ocean
- Unenvironment: Is monetizing waste the secret to ending plastic polution?
- David Katz TED talk
- Shaun Frankson TED talk:
*Images courtesy of The Plastic Bank.