Recycled Bottles Could Be Material In Next Military Uniform

Pentagon Looks Into 'Green' Uniforms Option

If the Pentagon gives the go-ahead, drinking bottled water could translate into helping defend the country.

At the upscale La Costa Resort & Spa, plastic water bottles are plentiful in the store and on the employees. Already one of the greenest resorts in the region, a month ago, managers began turning water bottles into uniforms.

"It's a really comfortable fit. It's been very durable," said resort manager Mike Shaff.

The durable blazer and pants worn by employees were made from 25 two-liter bottles by Ohio-based Cintas.

The company says the bottles are shredded into flakes and transformed into filament, before it is woven into fabric and turned into polyester.

Cintas style consultant Sarah Levi hopes she'll soon have a new customer -- the U.S. military.

According to the Marine Corps Times, a Senate committee is asking the Pentagon to determine what recycled fabrics could fit into the military dress code as part of a government-wide eco-friendly initiative.

"According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it takes 66 percent less energy to make recycled polyester compared to traditionally manufactured polyester," said Levi.

Thanks to savings in some areas, the final price tag for recycled clothing is comparable to non-recycled clothing.

When it comes to safety, 10News reporter Michael Chen asked, "Do military members have anything to be worried about when it comes to these types of uniforms?"

"Truthfully, no," replied Levi.

Cintas says they can, in essence, replicate the same polyester found in current garb, including battle dress uniforms, made of a polyester blend.

10News learned durability and flammability have been non-issues with clothing that started out in the recycle bin and could soon end up on the battlefield.

In recent years, there has been a trend toward more fire-retardant materials in military gear. The Pentagon is expected to determine how that clothing can be paired up with recycled fabrics.

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