Jaguar Land Rover has partnered with chemical company BASF to tackle the challenges of plastic waste, with a joint project called ChemCycling.
The plan is to take the plastic waste that cannot be recycled and develop a way to re-use it. ChemCycling transforms the plastic into pyrolysis oil using a thermochemical process. The resulting product is then used in the same manner as oil in BASF’s plastic production process.
The resulting plastic could be used in future Jaguar and Land Rover models for integral pieces of the vehicle. That’s the important point – integral. It’s not just a case of a dashboard feeling nice to the touch. It’s a piece of the front end carrier for instance. It has to behave in very specific ways during an accident, or under stress.
Testing is currently underway with I-Pace prototypes serving as the guinea pigs. The new materials have to pass a series of rigorous safety and quality tests in order to be approved for use in JLR cars.
Plastics are vital
It is hoped that a good deal of the millions of tonnes of waste plastic we produce could go to use. It’s predicted that by 2050, we’ll be producing as much as 12 million tonnes of plastic waste every year.
JLR is no stranger to implementing recycled plastics in its cars. The Range Rover Velar and Evoque use a material that combines a wool blend with a suede cloth. Each car uses 53 recycled plastic bottles.
“Plastics are vital to car manufacturing and have proven benefits during their use phase, however, plastic waste remains a major global challenge,” said Chris Brown, senior sustainability manager at Jaguar Land Rover
“Solving this issue requires innovation and joined-up thinking between regulators, manufacturers and suppliers.
“At Jaguar Land Rover, we are proactively increasing recycled content in our products, removing single-use plastics across our operations and reducing excess waste across the product lifecycle.