United Kingdom-based Jaguar Land Rover announced Sept. 29 that it is working with Italy-based Aquafil to use its Econyl nylon made from ocean and landfill waste to develop nylon interiors for its vehicles.
According to the company, next-generation Jaguar and Land Rover models will feature floor mats and trims made with Econyl fiber from recycled industrial plastic, fabric offcuts from clothing manufacturers, fishing nets from the farming industry, and those abandoned in the ocean.
The commitment to designing sustainable interiors using responsibly sourced and recycled materials is part of what Jaguar Land Rover calls its Destination Zero mission.
The nylon waste is reclaimed by Aquafil from all over the world. In one year, the company recycles as much as 40,000 metric tons of waste, with the recycling process reducing the global warming impact of nylon by 90 percent compared with the material produced from oil, the company says. Further, for every 10,000 metric tons of Econyl raw material produced, 70,000 barrels of crude oil are saved and 65,100 metric tons of carbon emissions equivalent are avoided.
Inside the company’s treatment centers, the waste is analyzed, treated and prepared to feed into a chemical plant, where the nylon waste is broken to its original raw material using a chemical treatment process known as depolymerization. The raw nylon material is then turned into the yarn, known as Econyl.
Throughout the process, other byproducts such as non-nylon, metallic materials or copper sulphate used for preventing seagrass growing on fishing nets are removed and sent to alternative industries for recycling.
The resulting nylon polymer has the same chemical and performance characteristics as raw fossil material, allowing it to be processed into fiber for carpet flooring and textiles, the company notes.