US: Graduation gowns now recycle or biodegrade

College seniors across the US are getting ready to toss their caps in the air and their gowns into recycling bins, writes Holly Ramer for Associated Press. For years, eco-conscious campuses have been trying to reduce the environmental impact of graduation ceremonies by using less electricity or printing programmes on recycled paper. Now, academic apparel manufacturers are jumping in with 'green' options ranging from disposable gowns that decompose quickly in soil to gowns made of recycled plastic bottles that can be reused or recycled.

The new products are an alternative to the petroleum-based polyester gowns millions of graduates buy each year then promptly throw away or stuff in their closets. Manufacturers say the new gowns are a bit softer and more breathable than the traditional gowns, but otherwise are indistinguishable.
Full report on the Associated Press site