Repreve multifilament polyester yarn.

Unifi, a textile solutions provider, said it has recycled more than 10 billion plastic bottles for its branded Repreve recycled performance fibers. The announcement was timed to honor America Recycles Day on Nov. 15.

Its Repreve fiber — made from recycled plastic bottles commonly used in various materials and products — is a sustainable solution for many brands and retailers such as Patagonia, Adidas, New Balance, Kathmandu, Timberland and Volcom, among others. Unifi said it aspires to recycle 20 billion bottles by 2020 and 30 billion bottles by 2022. And the firm announced that it is launching the Repreve Champions of Sustainability Awards to recognize its customers that have partnered with the brand to reach this achievement and spotlight companies committed to sustainable manufacturing with Repreve performance fibers, the company said.

Unifi shared that 10 billion bottles can fill the entire Empire State Building 7.2 times; that 10 billion bottles placed end to end can circle the earth more than 50 times, and that the recycled bottles used in manufacturing Repreve fiber, filament and chip can conserve enough energy to power 95,000 homes for one year, all according to the firm.

Kevin Hall, the chief executive officer of Unifi, said that “Reaching 10 billion bottles is an impressive milestone, and by committing to recycle an additional 20 billion by 2022, we will continue to expand our portfolio of Repreve-based performance products. With nearly 70 percent of plastic bottles in the United States going to landfills, America Recycles Day is a perfect time to remind people to recycle more and buy sustainable products. Repreve provides a solution for plastic bottles as long as they make it to a recycling bin.”

Hall continued, “Unifi could not have reached the 10 billion bottle milestone without the commitment from our customers to provide earth-friendly products, and the Repreve Champions of Sustainability Awards give us the opportunity to thank our partners who helped make it possible. A vast difference can be made if more companies recognize the impact they have on our planet and take steps to reduce it. The Repreve Champions of Sustainability Awards are meant to honor and inspire companies to source responsibly and take sustainability strategies to the next level.”

Winners of the 2017 Repreve Champions of Sustainability Awards will be announced at the 2018 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Denver, Jan. 25 through 28.

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