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Jaguar Land Rover, BASF trial new plastic Recycling process

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WHITLEY (Scrap Register): Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is trialling an innovative recycling process aimed at converting plastic waste into new premium-grade material which it says could be used for car parts and interiors, the carmaker said.

Working in conjunction with BASF, Jaguar Land Rover is part of a pilot project called ChemCycling that upcycles domestic waste plastic, otherwise destined for landfill or incinerators, into new high-quality material.

The waste plastic is transformed to pyrolysis oil using a thermochemical process. This secondary raw material is then fed into BASF’s production chain as a replacement for fossil resources; ultimately producing a new premium grade that replicates the high quality and performance of ‘virgin’ plastics. Importantly, it can be tempered and coloured making it the ideal sustainable solution for designing the next-generation dashboards and exterior-surfaces in Jaguar and Land Rover models, the company said in a press release.

The two companies are currently testing some of the material produced during a pilot phase of the recycling process on the front end of a Jaguar I-PACE electric vehicle in order to verify whether it meets the same safety requirements as that of the original, non-recycled car part.

If the trials and market preparation are successful, JLR said it hoped to in future use the new recycled material throughout its car manufacturing "without any compromise to quality or safety performance".

"Plastics are vital to car manufacturing and have proven benefits during their use phase, however, plastic waste remains a major global challenge," explained Chris Brown, senior sustainability manager at JLR. "Solving this issue requires innovation and joined-up thinking between regulators, manufacturers and suppliers."

The move forms part of JLR's circular economy commitments, through which it has achieved zero waste to landfill across its UK operations and removed 1.3 million square metres of plastic from its manufacturing processes.

"The collaboration with BASF is just one way in which we are advancing our commitment to operating in a circular economy," Brown added.

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