Starting with the Q8 e-tron, Audi has launched recycled plastic covers for seatbelt buckles. It doesn’t sound particularly exciting at first but this is a significant step towards making car manufacturing more sustainable and you will see why! The material is made from recycled automotive plastic waste and is significant because this is the first instance of vehicle safety components being made from recycled materials!
Audi conducted a pilot project for this material working alongside the PlasticLoop project and plastics manufacturer LyondellBasel. Taking plastic components from beyond repair cars, these were then stripped down and turn into pyrolysis oil which then becomes the raw material for new plastics. The result was a plastic material that is of the same standard as new manufactured materials and thus offered no compromise on the safety front!
The first use of this new material will be in the plastic covers for the seatbelt buckles of Audi’s Q8 e-tron.
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Words by Matthew D’Souza, pictures courtesy of Audi Media Center.