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Bloomfield College Grads to Wear Caps, Gowns Made of Recycled Plastic

Bloomfield College Commencement

By Alicia Cook

Over 300,000 students, including Bloomfield College graduates, are wearing GreenWeaver regalia at their commencement, resulting in millions of plastic bottles being removed from landfills.

“Recycled caps and gowns are a wonderful, environmentally friendly solution to the problem of plastic bottles,” said Dr. Tresmaine Grimes, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. “This May, when our students celebrate their phenomenal academic achievements, they will also be able to celebrate making a valuable contribution to preserving the environment for future generations.”

The attire, which is made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles, is softer to the touch than traditional polyester, and is extremely wrinkle resistant and lightweight.

“It takes 23 plastic bottles to make one GreenWeaver gown,” says Michelle Handal, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania Territory Representative for Oak Hall, which manufactures and sells the sustainable GreenWeaver caps and gowns. “So just think…for every 100 students wearing GreenWeaver, that’s 2,300 plastic bottles being diverted from landfills.”

According to their website, in order to produce the caps and gowns, the recycled plastic bottles are processed to remove impurities, such as labels and caps, and are then chopped into fragments called “flakes.” The flakes are melted and then solidified into uniform pellets called “chips,” which are melted again and extruded into continuous filament yarn that is later woven, dyed, and finished.

The caps and gowns themselves are recyclable. Students can drop everything into recycling bins after the ceremony.

Bloomfield College’s 144th Commencement is scheduled for Friday, May 19.