We know that the textile industry, as a whole, is among the biggest polluters. However, there are those who are turning the tide: Aquafil, with its regenerated nylon yarn Econyl, produces textile fibers from scraps, waste and new materials. Producing positive actions and changes for the economy, society and the environment, along their entire production chain.
Cristina: We know that the textile industry, as a whole, is among the biggest polluters. However, there are those who are turning the tide by producing textile fibers from scraps, waste and new materials.
In this company, the factories are powered 100% by renewable energies and closed cycle water is used in every phase of production. They’ve implemented environmental protocols throughout the supply chain and educational projects for employees and in schools.
Research is carried out on new biomass materials, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced every year, programs to protect the seas are promoted and life cycle analysis are carried out for all products. Together, these actions fulfill 8 of the 17 SDGs – the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For every 10,000 tons of raw material from the recycling process, 70,000 barrels of oil are avoided and the equivalent of 57,100 tons of CO2 are saved.
This is how fishing nets are transformed, along with other nylon waste. In 2018, 78 tons were recovered from NGOs operating throughout Europe. Once cleaned, the nets are chemically transformed, the liquid becomes polymer and the polymer becomes yarn. The result is that more and more yarn comes from a regeneration process. To become carpets, glasses, bags, clothes, swimwear.
Dr. Bonazzi, can you imagine fulfilling the nylon market demand with only recycled and reclaimed materials?
Giulio Bonazzi: No, unfortunately not, even if all nylon could be recovered, it would never be enough to guarantee future needs. In addition, recycling has its own environmental impact, we try to constantly improve it, but it’s important to understand how we recycle and how to minimize impacts during the process.
Cristina: What does it mean for you to innovate? Both as a citizen and as an entrepreneur?
Giulio Bonazzi: For me, innovating means quitting something that’s outdated to do something new. Before recycling you have to reduce raw materials, reuse and then, recycle.
Cristina: Do you already have a new family of materials ready?
Giulio Bonazzi: Yes, we want to produce nylon from renewable sources or from biomass, actually we’ve already produced the first kilos.
Cristina: Could we notice the difference between yarn derived from oil, recycling or biomass?
Giulio Bonazzi: No, the finished products are perfectly identical but the difference in environmental impact is huge.
Cristina: What a fine example of circular economy. Thanks Dr. Bonazzi. Occhio al futuro!
On air January 18, 2020