From fishing nets to swimwear
ECONYL® YARN THE WASTE USED
The ECONYL® yarn is a 100% regenerated Nylon coming from pre- and post-consumer Nylon waste. This process, based in Slovenia (Ajdovscina and Ljubljana), is the only one of this kind on an industrial level and it was invented and developed by Aquafil S.p.A. who owns also the trademark for the ECONYL® brand.
It started more than 4 years ago and around 25 million euros were invested in its development. We started with the regeneration of pre-consumer waste and only later introduced the post-consumer component.
Pre-consumer waste can be production discards, industrial plastic components and textile scraps, but it is with post-consumer waste that the big challenge comes in. Post-consumer waste is in fact waste that would otherwise be dumped in landfills or abandoned in nature with big environmental problems. With the ECONYL® Regeneration System we can recover this material - which can be carpet fluff (the upper part of carpets), abandoned or spent fishing nets (from all over the world) - and regenerate it giving it a new life and contributing to a cleaner environment.
The fishing nets can come from agreements we have in place with the fish farming industry or from spent or abandoned nets that we recover from the seas or we collect through special projects with fisherman and the fishing communities (Healthy Seas and Net-WorksTM). We receive most of the nets from Canada, USA, Norway, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan and Thailand.
The other big stream is the one related to fluff (upper part of carpets) that is recovered from spent carpets, especially in the United States. (Aquafil USA, Cartersville-Georgia).
The ECONYL® Regeneration system is a unique chemical and mechanical process that allows to create regenerated yarn from waste keeping the same purity and characteristics of Nylon coming from virgin raw material. With this yarn, numerous textile products can be created with a double advantage for the environment. From one side we use in a smart way waste material that would otherwise remain wasted in the environment, and from the other side, we save precious raw material that is normally used in the production of Nylon.
For every 10,000 tons of ECONYL® caprolactam (the raw material used), these are the environmental benefits obtained:We eliminate 12.6 thousand tons of waste
We avoid 42 thousand tons of CO2 equivalent emissions
Based on Aquafil's 2013 EPDs and compared with the average Aquafil virgin product. Aquafil internal data. In 2015, the production of ECONYL® caprolactam (our prime material) will save:
-More than 100,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions, equal to a car circumnavigating the equator more than 15,000 times.
-More than 2 million GJ of energy, equal to the energy demand of citizens of Rome for about 10 days.
Every ton of fishing net recovered and regenerated, we will produce enough yarn for:
- More than 26,000 pair of socks. (with 50% ECONYL® yarn content)
- More than 1,000 m2 of carpet (total pile weight: 600g/m2)
The official numbers and figures can be updated so it is better to check on this page: