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Booms made from recycled plastic fibers head to Florida coast

A patented line of barrier-filtration products made from recycled nylon, polyester, and polypropylene carpet fibers is being applied in the oil containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

A patented line of barrier-filtration products made from recycled nylon, polyester, and polypropylene carpet fibers is being applied in the oil containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. High-loft non-woven materials supplier Polyester Fibers and recycled material barrier manufacturer GeoHay have partnered on the project, saying their product will not only absorb oil but allow filtered water to flow back out freely, thus reducing the amount of exposure to oil contamination on the shoreline (click here for online video of the product).

A company representative told PlasticsToday that they are expecting GeoHay demand to triple in a week's time and grow by six times in two weeks. The company won't reveal capacity, but did say it believes it can respond quickly as orders come in.

In a release, the companies said that local agencies have turned to the GeoHay barrier product, including the Emergency Management Office of the Walton County Sheriff's Dept. in Florida. That county, which is spread along the Florida panhandle from Panama City in the east to Pensacola in the west, has already received "truck-loads" of material, should the oil reach the coast there. The company representative said more material is staged for a quick response should oil come ashore. Polyester Fibers and GeoHay say they are prepared to increase production should further demand arise from mitigation efforts.

The companies also said discussions are underway to expand the support for protection and cleanup efforts in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. The company said it's currently working on several fronts to move product to those states. GeoHay is already approved in more than 25 states for use in erosion control and storm water management by their departments of transportation. [email protected]

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