Fleece jackets made from recycled plastic bottles donated to Coats For Kids

BETTENDORF, Iowa - Hundreds of kids in the Quad Cities will have a new fleece coat when winter arrives, but these aren't just any ordinary coats.

It's the last piece of the recycling puzzle - what happens to that water bottle once you drop it in the bin.

"These water bottles wanted to be coats, so here we are," Brandy Welvaert with the Waste Commission of Scott County and iLiveHere said.

In total, 700 fleece coats, each made out of 25 plastic bottles, will now be sent out to kids in the Quad Cities.

"I see tons of recyclable material coming through, literally tons, but you don't get to see the end result all the time, especially something as interesting as a coat," Welvaert said.

Thanks to the Keep America Beautiful organization, Coats For Kids now has more to give on top of their typical 3,000 coats a year.

"The addition of the fleece coats, we're just able to give them one more item of clothing that they normally wouldn't have access to," Denise Zimmer with Coats For Kids said.

Zimmer says they get some larger donations of coats each year, but this one is the biggest, and the most unique.

"We don't really have the connections in the community to be able to provide them to people, we don't know who needs them, and Coats For Kids does. So, we're really blessed to work with them," Welvaert said.

It might be a little mind blowing to think that the shredded plastic material can turn into warm fleece coats, but this end result can be a big benefit to the community.

They're helping keep kids warm, but also offering perspective into what recycling can really do.

"Think about recycling as more of a holistic approach to life. It's not just throwing the right things into the cart, but also buying things that have recycled content in them," Welvaert said.

"I think that's awesome. If I could go out and buy a recycled water bottle coat, I think I would," Zimmer said.

From plastic to fleece, just in time for winter.

The donation to Coats For Kids was made as part of America Recycles Day, and the coats will be added to their deliveries right away.