Recycled plastic will help hundreds of children keep warm this winter. Tuesday 700 fleece jackets made from recycled water bottles arrived in the Quad Cities – a gift from Keep America Beautiful to one of its local affiliates, the Waste Commission of Scott County.
Spokeswoman Brandy Welvaert says the commission then donated them to Coats for Kids, the local program that gives winter coats to low income children. Each jacket has a label saying it was made from 25 water bottles.
“To help people think about what happens when they recycle, and have it in their minds that there is a closed loop, there is a cycle when it comes to recycling. So if you throw a water bottle in your recycling cart, it doesn’t just disappear, it becomes something else.”
Welvaert says many people find it hard to imagine that plastic can be converted into a comfortable coat.
“We actually talked with a little girl who’s the recipient of one of the coats. And the first thing she said was ‘Wow, this is really soft.’ It’s softer than other fleece jackets I have that are not recycled.”
The Coats for Kids program is run by the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, in Bettendorf.
Welvaert says Keep America Beautiful worked with the company Unilever to distribute thousands of these jackets across the country.