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Land Rover to Make Interior Trims from Waste Plastic

  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Oct 2, 2020

ECONYL process chart

Future Land Rover products are set to feature interior trim plastics and floor mats made from a recycled material called ECONYL. This material uses recycled fishing nets, recycled carpet, leftover industrial plastic, and textile offcuts to create an eco-friendly fiber. ECONYL uses these recycled nylon products to make a new, recyclable premium material that's massively earth-friendly.

ECONYL is created by depolymerizing certain, specific used nylon products, breaking them down into their chemical components. That is then re-synthesized into nylon yarn again, with the same quality as virgin nylon yarn. By using these recycled materials instead of new raw materials, ECONYL saves half the CO2 emissions of new nylon.

One of the largest sources of nylon is used fishing nets. Most come from fish farms, but many come from the sea, where they were lost and damaged. A team of volunteer divers recovers these wild nets to recycle. A nylon fishing net could last 500 years in the sea, entangling and killing all sorts of marine life, so ECONYL has extra environmental potential there. Carpeting is turned into carpet fluff, with the face fiber -- the "fluffy part" of carpet as opposed to the backing material -- mostly used.

The benefit of ECONYL is making a new product from old, creating a truly sustainable material that can also be fully recycled again in the ECONYL process. (Realistically, this is unlikely, since the trucks will end up widely dispersed before one day going to junkyards; it's unlikely many wreckers are going to be combing Land Rovers in 20 years for ECONYL to recycle again.) It's not the first sustainable material to be used in Land Rovers, either. The Range Rover Velar debuted with a wool-polyester seat option, developed with Danish firm Kvadrat. There is also an option of a eucalyptus-based material that's 30% tensile fibers from eucalyptus bark and 70% polyester.

ECONYL is not used in any current Land Rover products, but will show up in upcoming generations of vehicles. It's another step in Land Rover's environmental advances.


  • Written By
  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Adventure addict. '90s Land Rover daily driver. Historic preservationist. Personal vehicles: 1994 Discovery I, 1994 Range Rover Classic, 1961 Series II.
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