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At commencement, one word: Plastics

Class of 2016 dons regalia made from recycled bottles

The gowns worn by CSU Monterey Bay’s graduates will still be black, but they’ll also be green.

The graduation regalia is manufactured from Repreve, a fiber made of recycled materials, including plastic bottles. It takes approximately 27 bottles to make a gown.

This year, students at 1,250 colleges and universities will wear robes made of Repreve.

The plastic bottles are chopped, ground, melted and reformulated into chips that go through a proprietary process that produces yarn. Every pound of yarn that goes into the fabric used in the gowns saves one-half gallon of gasoline and produces half the CO2 emissions of the typical polyester manufacturing process, according to the company.

Not only is it smart for the environment, but CSUMB commencement coordinator Phyllis Grillo said the recycled gowns look better than the non-recycled options.

"They wrinkle less," Grillo said.