Aquafil Invests $10M in Enhanced Waste Regeneration Plant in U.S.
Aquafil opens a new carpet recycling facility to help a wasteful industry go circular
Trento, Italy, 11 September, 2017 –– Aquafil will open its first U.S. carpet recycling facility in Phoenix, AZ, offering a long-awaited solution to this persistent source of waste. Aquafil Carpet Recycling (ACR) #1 will recycle the Nylon 6 waste from carpets back into raw material, further enhancing its pioneering ECONYL® Regeneration System – the only technology in the world capable of regenerating Nylon 6 from carpets and other waste, including fishing nets.
Each year in the U.S., an astonishing 4 billion pounds of carpet is discarded in landfills – the equivalent of 6,060 humpback whales. Once operational in 2018, ACR #1 will have the capacity to collect and treat 35 million pounds of carpet per year, making a sizeable dent in the waste stream.
“We’re not comfortable with the status quo – in this case that less than five percent of carpet waste is recycled,” said Aquafil CEO Giulio Bonazzi. “We know Nylon 6 waste can be powerful with the proper technology, and we’re honored to call Phoenix home to that power with ACR #1.”
Carpet recycling has historically been a challenge due to the many different materials used, along with designs that do not allow for easy separation. ACR #1 marks a new era, as Aquafil continues to invest in innovative solutions to waste. Through the ECONYL® Regeneration System, Aquafil avoids the use of petroleum, reduces carbon emissions and gives waste an infinite number of lives without sacrificing quality.
ACR #1 is expected to create 50 new jobs, and will repurpose waste that is otherwise destined for landfill, getting Aquafil closer to its goal of producing ECONYL® yarn from 100 percent post-consumer waste. “We want to recycle as much carpet as possible by establishing a number of these facilities throughout the U.S.,” said Bonazzi. “This activity will be closely connected to our fishing nets recycling efforts, which diverts millions of pounds of waste from our oceans.”
ECONYL® yarn is in high demand with carpet and textile manufacturers, as well as apparel brands. To date, Aquafil has partnered with more than 160 brands including adidas, Volcom and Stella McCartney, along with carpet manufacturers such as Interface, Milliken, Mannington and Tarkett Group.
Just as Aquafil is helping the fashion industry become more sustainable, it is creating an opportunity to turn carpet waste into a business advantage, helping brands and manufacturers reduce their environmental impact to transform a historically wasteful industry.
Since 1969, Aquafil has been one of the leading players, both in Italy and globally, in the production of polyamide, or Nylon 6. The Aquafil Group has a presence in eight countries on three continents, employing more than 2,700 staff at 14 plants located in Italy, Germany, Scotland, Slovenia, Croatia, the U.S., Thailand and China. For more information, visit www.aquafil.com.
About ECONYL® Yarn
Made from 100 percent regenerated nylon waste, Aquafil’s ECONYL® yarn helps divert global waste streams from landfills and oceans and is used to produce a wide range of textile products such as sportswear, swimwear and carpets. In 2007, Aquafil established the Energy & Recycling business unit to boost the sustainable activities of the Aquafil Group. Thanks to its research and development activities the ECONYL® Regeneration System was created. Within four years it became an important milestone and commercial driver within the company, representing a significant step towards the company’s involvement in the circular economy. The ECONYL® Regeneration System is the world’s most efficient industrial system for the production of Nylon 6 and is unique in that it boasts no loss of quality after reclamation and transformation of nylon waste. For more information, visit www.econyl.com or @ECONYL.