Production of nylon yarn from waste materials

Yarn producer Aquafil has designed the Econyl system, which enables Polyamide 6 or Nylon 6 waste to be manufactured into new Nylon 6 with no loss of quality. Key to success is the Reclaiming Programme, an essential tool to facilitate a reverse supply chain and ensure reliable materials inputs.

Aquafil Group have a strong heritage in effective resource management, in making rigid fabrics for use in carpet tiles. For over twenty years, the company have been working on re-processing BCF(carpet yarn), and CEO Giulio Bonazzi says that "without realising it we have always developed technologies that are very advanced in terms of environmental concerns…and looking at business in a circular way has opened up new opportunities for innovation”. De-polymerisation through the Econyl process is the next logical step for Aquafil. However, there is a tendency to overplay the link between ‘innovation’ and technology, when in fact the company are realising the benefits of a closed loop model right now, without relying on radical jumps in technology, or waiting for a revolutionary ‘silver bullet’ for the textiles industry.

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