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BMW Treads Sustainable Path with Recycled Fishing Nets

Article-BMW Treads Sustainable Path with Recycled Fishing Nets

Image: Aquafil Aquafil recycled PA yarns
The automaker uses recycled polyamide in car floors and floor mats.

Sustainability has become a strategic priority for the automotive industry, with automotive organizations increasingly using sustainable materials, and 62% of them claiming to have a comprehensive sustainability strategy, according to Capgemini.

Since 2016, the BMW Group has used Econyl yarn, based on recycled polyamide (PA), to make the floors and floor mats for the BMW i3, BMW iX, and other models. Committed to sustainability and the process, Daniela Bohlinger, Head of Sustainability for BMW Group Design, visited Aquafil CEO Giulio Bonazzi in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where Econyl yarn is produced out of recycled fishing nets and other polyamide waste. Compared to petroleum-based PAs, manufacturing Econyl yarn from recycled materials reportedly results in an up to 90% reduction in global warming potential.

“At the BMW Group, we want to lead the automotive industry in the direction of sustainability. From the very start, we consider the entire product lifecycle and increasingly use materials that can be recycled and then used for other purposes,” said Bohlinger. “Since Econyl yarn features a wonderful range of colors, it is easy for us to design with. Of course, any product that is made from recycled materials must look flawless and provide outstanding quality.”

Econyl PA is a sought-after material, used by more than 1,000 brands worldwide, including Breitling, Stella McCartney, Prada, Gucci, and Adidas.

Once the products made from Econyl yarn reach the end of their useful life, they can be recycled once again and made into other new products. “You can keep recycling these products as many times as you want. This is true sustainability,” said Giulio Bonazzi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aquafil. “We truly value our support to leading companies like BMW Group as we work to establish a global circular economy.”

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