While there is a wide range of opportunities for recycled post-consumer carpet material, a significant amount – up to 30 percent – is used to produce new carpet face fiber and backings. Aquafil USA, a CARE partner, is one of the leading manufacturers of recycled and recyclable carpet fibers.
The Aquafil Group is a leading global manufacturer of Nylon 6 fibers and polymers, as well as Nylon 6.6, Dryarn and XLA, while Aquafil USA primarily focuses on the manufacturing of Nylon 6 fibers. Notably, Aquafil manufacturers ECONYL, a unique brand of fiber made from 100 percent regenerated content containing both post-industrial and post-consumer waste.
The ECONYL Regeneration System
Recognizing a need for a sustainable solution for carpet waste and the recovery of raw material, the Aquafil Group created the ECONYL Regeneration System.
The ECONYL Regeneration System is based on sustainable chemistry. During this process, Nylon contained in post-consumer carpet, as well as other materials such as clothing and fishing nets, is transformed back into raw materials without any loss of quality.
The raw material is then used to create new BCF (bulk continuous filament) products with the same quality. BCF fibers create synthetic floor coverings, including on list of materials eligible for LEED points, automotive interiors like car upholstery, carpeting and mats from wide variety of manufacturers.
New BCF products created through this are fully and endlessly regenerable, so they may reenter the regeneration system at the end of every useable life.
Future Outlook for ECONYL
Currently, the ECONYL Regeneration System is exclusive to Aquafil’s Julon d.d. plant in Slovenia, but the ultimate goal is to duplicate its depolymerization capabilities in the United States.
In the meantime, Aquafil USA facilities are contributing to the Group’s regeneration system on a daily basis. The carpet shearing and shredding machines installed at Aquafil USA during the fall of 2014 play a vital role in contributing post-consumer waste. Operating at full capacity, Aquafil’s recovery efforts in the U.S. will provide more than 2 million pounds of sheared and shredded carpet fluff per year to the regeneration system.
Aquafil and ECONYL are constantly exploring new opportunities and partnerships to expand the waste recovery process. For more information, visit online at www.aquafilusa.com and www.econyl.com or email Aquafil USA directly at firstname.lastname@example.org