Are John Lewis ‘plastic’ towels a pollution risk? New range made from recycled bottles ‘will still pollute the oceans with microfibres’

  • The collection to be launched next month will be 35% polyester from bottles
  • Each bath towel will cost around £24 and uses roughly 11 litres of plastic bottles
  • They are also planning to be bring out a duvet range made from 100% polyester 

A new range of towels from John Lewis made from recycled plastic bottles will still pollute the oceans, campaigners warned yesterday.

The collection to be launched next month will be made using 35 per cent polyester from recycled bottles – each bath towel (costing £24) will use roughly 11 one-litre bottles. The only other element in the products will be recycled cotton.

John Lewis is also set to launch duvets made using 100 per cent recycled polyester from plastic bottles.

Campaigner Sian Sutherland, founder of Plastic Planet, said the invention was ‘well-intended but misguided’.


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She added: ‘Every time you wash a synthetic garment, trillions of plastic microfibres wash into our water system.

‘We know about plastic bottle pollution and single use plastic pollution but the amount of nanoplastic which comes from synthetic fibres is an equally big problem which we’re just becoming aware of.

‘You’ll be washing something you know will produce plastic microfibres, and just think how often we wash our towels.’

She argued that recycling plastic was not a cycle, but a downward spiral instead. ‘It’ll all still end up in landfill or in our oceans,’ she added.

John Lewis declined to comment.

John Lewis is also set to launch duvets made using 100 per cent recycled polyester from plastic bottles

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