Mata shoes
courtesy Mata

They’re made from non-renewable resources, they’re used only once but take centuries to break down, and all too often, they’re not recycled. There’s no shortage of reasons to ban the plastic bottle. But given their ubiquity, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. The good news is that plastic bottles, including their caps, are now a resource being incorporated into all manner of unexpected products. And businesses from startups to massive corporations are raking in real gold in exchange for these products made of reconfigured black gold, aka petroleum.

Colleen Kane is a New York-based freelance writer.