This morning I was carrying out my habitual scroll through the Twitter feed as I was waiting for the kettle to boil and happened to notice the #techforgood hashtag trend. This got me thinking about the innovative ECONYL® Regeneration process lots of our carpet tiles have gone through and I couldn’t quite believe we haven’t already boasted about it on the DCTUK blog yet! So flick the kettle on yourself, pick your poison (mine’s a strawberry green tea at the moment) and kick your feet up for fifteen minutes because I’m here to tell you all about ECONYL® and how you could be doing your bit for our precious planet without even lifting a finger.
Facing the facts
The ECONYL® Regeneration System was brought to life by the Aquafil Group as they embarked on a mission to put an end to unnecessary waste of polyamide material” and regenerate the perfectly-good materials that get chucked into landfill or incinerators every single day. Tons upon tons of waste materials like clothing, toys and fishing nets are chucked out every month but it only takes 10,000 tons of ECONYL® produce to eliminate over 12,000 tons of waste, 70,000 barrels of crude oil and 42,000 tons of CO2 emissions.
These guys understand that when it comes to industrial processes, waste is pretty impossible to dodge but they wanted to put a positive spin on waste by feeding back into the world’s production cycles. The system involves collecting large volumes of discarded Nylon and reducing it back to it’s raw form for reuse, without any loss of quality. This means that when you purchase a product that has gone through the ECONYL® Regeneration System, you’re not only getting premium performance benefits, you’re also helping nurse our vulnerable environment back to health without even having to think about it.
The 6-step regeneration cycle
Okay so you should be feeling a little more informed about what the devil ECONYL® actually is by now and why it’s such an important process within the industrial production industry? Good! Now we can start looking a bit further into how this marvellous concept manifests itself because believe it or not, the brainboxes behind ECONYL® don’t just rely on the powers of magic. The regeneration process is actually made up of six complex but crucial steps, which all come together to form an ongoing cycle of eco-friendly brilliance.
WASTE RESCUE - It all begins with the collection of the valuable waste materials that have been slung in various landfills and dumping grounds because well, one man’s trash is ECONYL® treasure. The waste collection network hunts out hidden gems with a high percentage of Nylon, and rescue them from the wreckage ready for preparation.
WASTE PREPARATION - The preparation process involves the landfill loot being sent to a little town just outside the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. Here the waste is separated into Nylon and non-Nylon before the former is then cleaned, shredded, compacted and transported to the ECONYL® regeneration plant nearby.
DEPOLYMERISATION - This long, complicated-sounding work basically describes a unique chemical process by which the complex waste materials are then purified and reduced to non-complex raw materials. Thanks to the ECONYL® ethos, this now requires a heck of a lot less water and energy and actually produces far more Nylon than it does waste. That’s what we call ‘waste positive’ in action!
POLYMERISATION - After the materials have been depolymerised, they are then polymerised all over again. This ensures that the ECONYL® caprolactam is converted into Nylon 6 polymers, which are then well on their way to being fit for reuse. Just one more thing before it can hit the shelves…
TRANSFORMATION - After being rescued, treated, purified and reduced, the Nylon 6 polymers are then distributed to production facilities all over the world where they are processed into BCF yarns and NTF yarns.
RE-COMMERCIALISATION - Both yarns can now be marketed to customers - hooray! NTF yarns are great for textile use such as swimming costumes and sports gear but it is the BCF bad boys we’re most interested in. It’s these carpet flooring fibres that mean we can provide you with ethically-sourced and eco-responsible tiles for your homes and commercial spaces.
Speaking of re-commercialisation, feel free to check out some of our most popular ECONYL®-based carpet tiles below. If you find yourself with questions that need answering, simply give our savvy sales team a buzz on 03300 296 074 or shoot an email over to the firstname.lastname@example.org inbox and we’ll get back to you right away.