HOUGHTON, MICH. (March 20, 12:15 p.m. ET) — Even before graduates of Michigan Technological University cross the stage during their April 28 commencement, they will be one step ahead in helping the environment.
That's because the future leaders will be donning caps and gowns that are made from plastic water bottles — 100 percent recyclable yarn — according to a news release. Each graduate's commencement attire will contain 27 plastic water bottles, made by Greensboro, N.C.-based Unifi Inc.'s Repreve brand of recycled fibers.
“We're excited about this,” Beth Pollins, assistant to the vice president of student affairs at Michigan Tech and a commencement planner, said in a statement. “We've wanted to do this for quite awhile, and it has finally come together. It's part of our strategic plan to enhance our commitment to sustainability, so this is a great demonstration of our efforts.”
There will be about 1,000 students graduating in April, the school said, which means 27,000 empty bottles would have been diverted from a landfill. After commencement, students also can donate their caps and gowns to be recycled.