What is recycled nylon?
Over the year’s nylon waste has accumulated in the oceans around the world and it has been estimated that the fishing nets made of nylon account for about 10% of marine litter which weighs about 640,000 tonnes is dumped in the seas every year. Moreover, nylon post-consumer waste is also discarded in the sea. These fishing nets and other non-biodegradable waste that is extremely durable is a threat to marine creatures.
The question now arises that are we going to further continue harming the environment and keep on spreading more litter? Is there any solution to these issues?
But what about the increasing demand for nylon in the textile sector. It was in 2011 that Aquafil introduced Econyl regenerated nylon that could possibly answer some of the above questions. With a vision to make a better place, Econyl is a product that abides by a closed-loop production process that utilises less water and generates less waste when compared to conventional nylon. Made from waste, Econyl can be recycled, recreated and remoulded which resembles the traditional nylon.
Nylon waste from landfills and oceans around the world is recycled and regenerated into Econyl and to achieve this purpose the company has partnered with a various organisation that works towards building a sustainable environment. Econyl Reclaiming Program is a waste collection network that works with institutions, customers and public and private companies that collects a large amount of material that would have otherwise gone into landfill. Another segment that Econyl strives for is the removal of marine litter in terms of fishing nets that are discarded in the sea. To work on this area, the company has collaborated with ECNC Land and Sea Group, Netherland based Ngo and Star Sock under the project Healthy Seas- a journey from waste to wear. And under this project, about 159.65 tonnes of fishing nets were procured from the sea in 2013-15.
The recycled nylon resembles in properties to the conventional nylon since their chemical composition is hardly altered during the production process. Econyl is known for its elasticity, as a result, it finds quite a wide application in sports and swimwear. However, one drawback of econyl is that it lacks moisture wicking property and is highly flammable and thus should be laundered carefully and should not be washed at high temperature. The econyl fibers are tough and rigid and also have industrial applications such as the automobile sector.
Standard 100 certification from OEKO-TEX has granted certification to Econyl thus authenticating it as low impact fiber. Another organisation that certifies Econyl is DNV GL, the Italian Government body that provides product certifications, that states that Econyl is a 100% recycled made using pre-consumer and post-consumer waste. Desso, has also certified Aquafil’s carpet-grade Econyl with Cradle to Cradle Gold certification.