The quadrennial FIFA World Cup tournament kicks off in South Africa tomorrow on June 11, 2010. Taiwan, though did not qualified as one of the 32 teams that will be competing, will participate as producers of team uniforms. And not just any kind of uniforms, but jerseys made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. Plastic bottles are broken down and drawn into strands to create the fibers and materials used in these shirts. On average, eight plastic bottles can be recycled into one jersey, each of which is 13 percent lighter and can absorb and disperse sweat more quickly than traditional fabric. According to the Industrial Development Bureau under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, which provides jersey manufacturers with assistance, over 13 million PET bottles were used to produce the 2010 World Cup jerseys for the teams and for retailers. Nine competing teams—from Brazil, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United States, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Serbia and Slovakia—that will be participating in the 2010 World Cup soccer championship will be wearing uniforms made by Taiwanese manufacturers.
Ain’t technology grand? :)