Is chemical or mechanical recycling better for polyester?
Currently, mechanical recycling is the most common form of polyester recycling as it’s a simpler process and more easily sourced.
The chemical recycling process uses more chemicals and energy than mechanical recycling, posing a question as to whether this toll on the environment is acceptable. On the flip side, it can create a polyester material that is supposedly of equal quality to virgin polyester and has the potential to close the loop on polyester recycling. Although not available on a wide scale yet, there are some suppliers offering this method at a higher cost to mechanical recycling, and we’ll likely see this method develop with less environmental impact in the near future.