Every year, the fashion industry uses PET bottles to produce jewelry, clothes and handbags, and more and more furniture is made from waste materials, such as shredded paper, plastic bottles and wood chips. Now, for the first time, Audi will add its sustainable products to its new Audi A3 and will feature seat trim made from recycled materials.
Sustainable development is a core pillar of Audi's strategy. From technology to production, this applies to all aspects of the business. In the fourth-generation Audi A3, the seat trim will be made for the first time using auxiliary raw materials.
Up to 89% of the textiles used consist of recycled PET bottles, which are converted into yarns, so that the fabrics produced look and feel to the same quality standards as traditional textile interiors.
There are more than 100 PET bottles in a single A3. Each seat system uses up to 45 PET bottles with a capacity of 1.5 liters. In addition, 62 PET bottles were recycled for the new Audi A3 carpet.
Audi's goal is to significantly increase the percentage of renewable materials in the Audi fleet over the next few years, while allowing high-end brands to continue to provide customers with the high-quality products they are accustomed to.
Other components inside are also increasingly made of auxiliary materials, such as insulation and absorbers, side panel trims for luggage, loading floors and cushions.
How does it work? In Germany, consumers are encouraged to use machines in local stores for recycling, offering customers a fee of € 0.25 per bottle.
Disposable bottles are then compressed in storage before being transported to a recycling plant where bottles are sorted by color, size and quality, and foreign objects such as caps are separated.
These bottles are then crushed into flakes, washed, then melted in a shredder, and a continuous plastic strip in the material is formed with a nozzle.
After drying, they are cut into small pieces to form what is known as a regrind (a granular form). It is then extracted to create a thread and wound into a roll for the final stages of manufacturing materials. The new Audi A3 will arrive in Ireland in the summer of 2020.