Bottles Up! Audi Using Recycled Pop Bottles for Seats and Carpet

Audi is looking to be the environment’s pet with a new switch-up of interior fabrics for the A3 that puts recycled bottles to support driver bottoms and helps to reduce waste and improve vehicle sustainability.

When you toss that empty Coke bottle into the bin at the recycling depot, it takes a long trip, Audi says. Where it is flattened, shredded, and then the flakes are melted down. The end result is granules of plastic that can be re-melted and squeezed into thin fibers. It’s those fiber threads that Audi will be using to make the seats and carpets of some versions of the all-new A3, arriving soon.

Audi says it’s up to 45 1.5L PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles for the seats and 62 more for the carpets. Other panels inside are also made from what it calls secondary raw materials, parts like insulation and absorbers as well as trunk trimmings. Audi says it wants its percentage of recycled material to “rise considerably in the coming years.”

Not all of the seat fabric is recycled, yet, at least. “The lower layer of woven material, which is connected to the upper material with adhesive, is what poses the challenge. We are working on replacing this with recyclable polyester,” says Ute Grönheim, who is in charge of material development in the textiles division at Audi. “It is our goal to make the seat upholstery completely from unmixed material so that it can be recycled again. We are no longer very far away from this.”

first published by fourtitude