The polyurethane foam used to make car seats usually ends up in landfills because it is costly to recycle. A Spanish-French consortium has come up with a sustainable 3D fabric made from industrial waste that can be easily recycled when a seat reaches the end of its life.
The GreenUp project contributes to the better use of resources and raw materials and to the reduction of the environmental impact in the supply chain of the automotive sector.
It offers a new solution for designing new recycling processes for the production of 100% recycled upholstery products. The recycled materials come from the waste generated during different production steps and imply a reduction of textile and leather waste materials. The fully recyclable upholstered seats for furniture seating and transport sector will be possible due to the following three key technologies will be joined: improvement of leather tanning process, production of recycled polyester yarn and recycled 3D fabrics.
Recycling End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) is one of the most challenging issues faced by the EU to uphold with sustainable development and with the reduction of pollution, energy use and material consumption. The EU directive has a dedicated framework to deal with ELV's: It aims at recycling 95% of the total weight of motor vehicles by 2015. GreenUp is in line with this directive and contributes to providing SME's with the supporting tools and technology which allows them to produce upholstery goods based on 100% recycled material. This technology will increase the overall % of recycled materials integrated into new vehicles and favour the industrial and environmental sustainability set.
GreenUp is a part of the Eco-innovation, launched in 2008, which is an initiative bridge between research and the market. It helps good ideas for innovative products, services and processes that protect the environment become fully-fledged commercial prospects, ready for use by business and industry.