Luxury Land Rovers and Jaguars adopt recycled plastics

Plastic’s fantastic, so long as it’s recycled says Jaguar Land Rover.

The alarming amount of plastics in the world’s oceans has been thrown into stark relief in recent years by the lobbying efforts of environmental groups and activists.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), more than seven million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans each year, representing a major threat to marine species which ingest or are entangled by plastic debris.

Now, British car maker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is taking a small step towards tackling the problem by announcing plans to use recycled plastic waste in the interiors of its next-generation models. 

A statement from the British car maker said it was working with Aquafil – a global leader in the synthetic fibres industry – to use a regenerated nylon product called Econyl in the floor mats and interior trims of its future models. 

Econyl is made from recycled industrial plastic, fabric offcuts from clothing manufacturers, fishing nets from the farming industry, and abandoned “ghost nets” which wreak havoc on marine ecosystems.  

Jaguar Land Rover recycling plan graphic.

A statement from JLR said the commitment to designing sustainable luxury interiors using responsibly sourced and recycled materials is part of the company’s Destination Zero mission, with innovation helping to make environments safer and cleaner while offering customers a premium, sustainable option. 

Destination Zero is a corporate mission statement adopted by JLR which envisages a world of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion. 

Econyl regenerated nylon has already been successfully used by high-end fashion, sportswear and luxury watch brands to create handbags, backpacks, swim wear and watch straps, according to JLR. 

In a single year Aquafil reclaims and recycles as much as 40,000 tonnes of nylon waste, claiming that its recycling process reduces the global warming impact of nylon by 90%, compared with the material that’s produced from oil. 

The resulting Econyl regenerated nylon polymer yarn will be used to manufacture floor mats for future JLR models with the goal of using more environmentally conscious and sustainable materials, while still providing customers with a premium and hardwearing product. 

Senior engineer of interior systems at JLR Adrian Iles said: “Our designers and engineers are committed to developing the next generation of sustainable materials that will feature on future Jaguar and Land Rover models. 

Jaguar Land Rover to use recycled plastics.

“We place a great deal of focus on the creation of new sustainable materials, using the latest, most innovative techniques and textiles.

“Minimising waste, re-using materials and reducing carbon emissions sits at the heart of our Destination Zero mission.

“This pioneering materials research is one of the key ways we’ll achieve this and is an integral part of our design offering to our customers.”

Earlier this year, JLR was certified for the second consecutive year by the Carbon Trust, confirming its business operations across the UK have met the internationally recognised standard for carbon neutrality, known as PAS 2060.

The company says together these UK-based sites represent 77% of its global vehicle production.

JLR currently offers a premium Eucalyptus textile interior on Range Rover Evoque and both that model and Jaguar’s all-electric I-PACE feature an optional interior finish called Kvadrat, which combines durable wool with a suede cloth made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle.