OREM, Utah (AP) – Graduation gowns worn by Utah Valley University graduates saved an estimated 70,000 plastic bottles from landfills this year.
The Daily Herald reported Wednesday that the gowns for the university in Orem came from Oak Hall Cap & Gown, which uses recycled plastic bottles to make regalia.
The Virginia-based company says each of the recyclable gowns takes about 23 bottles to make. The process includes chopping and melting the plastic into a filament yarn that is woven and dyed.
The university 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City says this is the fifth year students have worn the gowns.
Officials say there is no cost difference compared to the polyester normally used in the traditional graduation attire and using recycled materials fits the school’s sustainability mission.