Recycled Dog Collars
We have a plastic problem. There’s too much of it, and it doesn’t biodegrade. To date, we’ve produced 9.1 billion tons of plastics. The number is so enormous that it’s impossible to wrap your head around, other than to say, plastic is everywhere – there’s now even plastic where people don’t generally go, like the middle of the ocean. The problem is, we’re choking on it and so are our fellow species who don’t even use plastic. Every four minutes, eight seabirds and 760 marine mammals die from plastic pollution in the ocean – and these are just the ones we know about. (Sea Turtle Conservancy and Ocean Crusaders.) In fact, plastic bottles and plastic bags are the most prevalent form of pollution found in our oceans and on our beaches. (Huffington Post, Ocean Conservatory.)
What do we do with all of this plastic?
First, we need to stop producing and using so much plastic. Second, we need to use natural, sustainable materials (like bamboo) and bioplastics, which biodegrade more easily instead of petroleum-based plastic. And third, we need to figure out what to do with all of the plastic we’ve already created!
This is where recycled dog collars come in.
Will we save the planet by giving all of our dogs recycled dog collars? Probably not. But will we help make a dent in the plastic pollution problem? Yes. Right now, according to the EPA, we only recycle about 9-10% of plastics. This is why at UniGuide, we are bullish on recycled plastic!
But it’s important to keep in mind that even when you recycle plastic into something useful, like a dog collar, you still have to figure out what to do with the recycled dog collar when you’re done using it. How to properly re-purpose, recycle, or dispose of products when we’re done with them is a topic we want to explore further at UniGuide in collaboration with the product vendors we promote on the site.
Because plastic is such a long-lasting material, it tends to create durable products even when it’s recycled. The recycled plastic dog collars we feature here are tough enough to stand up for years of use, including lots of rolls in the grass, ocean swims, and buddy dog tugging.
What’s the difference between a recycled dog collar and an upcycled dog collar?
Increasingly, we are distinguishing between recycled and upcycled on UniGuide because there is a difference in the meaning of the two terms. (Though you might find the term “recycled” applying to items that are actually “upcycled” on UniGuide. We do this if a product maker uses the term to describe their products or simply because consumers are more familiar with the term “recycled.”)
The difference between the recycled dog collars and the upcycled ones on UniGuide is that the recycled collars are made from materials, usually PET plastic from water bottles, that go through a process whereby they are altered in a meaningful way before being converted into materials to make the collars. While each product maker is unique, most of the recycled dog collars on UniGuide are made from plastic water bottles that are ground down into flakes or tiny pellets, which are then melted down and spun into a fiber that is woven to create the collars. Because it’s a manufacturing process, recycling can be energy intensive, but it’s generally agreed today that it’s environmentally beneficial to recycle plastics.
Upcycled dog collars, on the other hand, are collars that are made from previously used materials that do not undergo such an intensive transformation. Materials such as used fire hoses, fire fighter clothing, and bicycle inner tubes are simply cut down, sized, and sewn into durable dog collars.
Recycled and upcycled dog collars may not be the one solution that saves the planet, but we do believe human ingenuity will be, and what better time to think about solutions than on a long walk with your best pal?
Here are 4 brands that are making recycled dog collars:
To view just the upcycled dog collars on UniGuide, click here.