Nowadays, using sustainable materials in vehicles has almost become a necessity, not only because it looks good to the public, but also because it makes sense to recycle materials that will never be used again.
BMW is a pioneer in this field, as the Bavarian manufacturer was one of the first to offer a car with a more “sustainable” interior, the BMW i3, which could be equipped with upholstery made of recycled materials.
This time around, the automaker is preparing for the future of its vehicles with the intention of producing cars with plastic panels made from about 30 percent recycled fishing nets and ropes. As the carmaker explains, the raw material is found in various ports around the world and this recycling operation avoids throwing it back into the sea. What’s more, using the plastic contained in these fishing nets reduces the brand’s need for the material extracted from the oil, which reduces emissions in addition to fighting against ocean pollution.
While BMW already uses fishing nets and used floor coverings and residual waste from plastic production to produce a synthetic yarn needed for the production of floor mats for the BMW iX and the new generation BMW X1, the German brand’s new approach goes further.
The new initiative, developed in cooperation with the Danish company PLASTIX, produces plastic granules after separating fishing nets and ropes. This new recycled material is now suitable for the injection moulding process for the first time, a solution that will be implemented on board the future NEUE KLASSE, a model series to be launched in 2025.
The resulting components will be installed in visible and non-visible areas on the group’s future cars. BMW intends to double the proportion of thermoplastics used in new vehicles by 2030, from the current 20 percent to 40 percent.