Tata Motors‘ Jaguar Land Rover said it was working with Econyl nylon to develop high-quality interiors made from ocean and landfill waste.
New Jaguar and Land Rover models will have floor mats and trims made with Econyl fibre from recycled industrial plastic, fabric offcuts from clothing manufacturers, fishing nets from the farming industry, and those abandoned in the ocean– known as ‘ghost nets’.
“This commitment to designing sustainable luxury interiors using responsibly sourced and recycled materials is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Destination Zero mission, with innovation helping to make environments safer and cleaner while offering customers a premium, sustainable option,” the automaker said.
The Econyl regenerated nylon, created by Aquafil, a global leader in the synthetic fibres industry, has already been used by high end fashion, sportswear and luxury watch brands to create handbags, backpacks, swimwear and watch straps.
The nylon waste is reclaimed by Aquafil from all over the world. In a single year, the company recycles 40,000 tonnes of waste, with the recycling process claimed to reduce the global warming impact of nylon by 90% compared with material produced from oil. For every 10,000 tonnes of Econyl raw material produced, 70,000 barrels of crude oil are saved and 65,100 tonnes of carbon emissions equivalent are avoided, it is claimed.
Inside treatment centres the waste is analysed, treated and prepared to feed into a chemical plant, where it is broken to its original raw material using a chemical treatment process, known as depolymerisation. The raw nylon material is then turned into the yarn known as Econyl.
Throughout the process, other by-products such as non-nylon, metallic materials or copper sulphate which is used for preventing seagrass growing on fishing nets, are removed and sent to alternative industries for recycling.
The resulting regenerated nylon polymer has the same chemical and performance characteristics as raw fossil material, allowing it to be processed into a fibre for carpet flooring and textiles.
This yarn can then be used to manufacture floor mats with the goal of using more environmentally conscious and sustainable materials while still providing customers with a premium and hardwearing product.