Semaphore is flying sustainable flags with PETflag!

From PET bottle to sustainable flag

Challenged by our Copenhagen-based partner, the environmental NGO F.E.E. (Foundation for Environmental Education), we’ve developed a flag-bunting that is entirely made of recycled PET material.  Not only is it the most sustainable bunting on the market, it’s also proven to be a long lasting bunting, even on the most challenging flag locations.

Semaphore is longtime prefered supplier and proud sponsor for the FEE projects. The Blue Flag program is by far the most visible project; it helps communities, municipalities, marina’s and recreational beaches to create environmental awareness, achieve the highest standards in organisation, cleanliness and accessability and educate their visitors on matters like flora, fauna and the specific qualities of the location. The award for obtaining a Blue Flag notification is a Blue Flag, and so our flags fly proudly over thousands of beaches and marina’s all over the world.

The next step was to produce flags that in itself would have a sustainable quality. In 2017 we launched PETflag and we printed the first batch of Blue Flags on the new material. Thanks to our partnership with FEE, Semaphore was able to test sustainable Blue Flags in the most challenging conditions all over the world. After two years of testing we can now proudly state that Semaphore PETflags are not only the most sustainable flags, but that the bunting quality is at least the same as the classic shiny knitted polyester and even better compared to the premium buntings like spun and &SIGN.

Pricewise PETflag is fractionally more expensive, but compared to the premium qualities the costs are relatively the same, because they last longer and thus need less replacement.

Recycleproces from PETbottle to PETFlag

Maybe you’ve asked yourself what happens with your empty PET bottles after you’ve returned them to the supermarket or put them in a collectioncontainer. Some bottles are washed out and reused as bottles, but the majority ends up being shredded and grinded to granulate. This is the raw material for several new items, such as small boxes for vegetables and fruit, containers for other food, but also fine fibres from which stuffings for sleeping bags and coats are made. The challenge in using those fibres to produce a thread from which flagbunting is woven or knitted, was the fact that you need a bright white thread to print flags in bunting. In 2017 we succeeded in finding such a thread and in June 2017 the first PETflags were printed.

Sustainable flags also wear and tear…

Despite the PETflags’ premium quality, eventually they will also deteriorate because of the wind and sunshine. Luckily for us flagmakers, no flying flag lasts forever. If you’re flag is too far gone to fly proudly, you can send us your worn & torn flags. We’ll use them as raw material for artists and craftsman that turn your old flags in new products, like bags, hammocks, pad sleeves or items made out of felt. This way your flags will live on in other shares and forms.

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