What are the environmental impacts of recycled nylon?
Econyl regenerated nylon definitely has a lower environmental impact than conventional nylon. The raw material used for making recycled nylon is sourced from the waste such as fishing nets, worn-out synthetic clothes and other industrial discards thus utilising the already existing waste in a more sustainable manner to create a new product. While a conventional nylon production consumes fossil fuels as their raw material and their processing is associated with the release of toxic substances in the environment. Additionally, the synthetic polymers are accountable towards environment pollution such as emission of nitrous oxide. Thus, using recycled nylon helps to minimise the harmful impact that nylon production generates.
Although econyl provides a greener solution to the existing nylon waste the permanent solution is still not discovered. One of the major limitations with econyl is that it does not decompose easily and it takes several years ranging from 100-1,000 years for its degradation. Since the raw material of traditional nylon and econyl is the same both of the two fibers stand at equal levels in terms of degradation in the environment. Another drawback with recycled is the release of microfibers. These micro-sized plastic particles pollute the water body and in turn degrade the quality of agricultural and drinking water.
And indeed, there is a need for us to become conscious buyers and shift towards more sustainable clothing alternatives. Many kinds of research even indicate that even if the production of synthetic fabric terminates, these fibers will still remain in our biosphere and pose their negative impacts.