Jaguar Land Rover Producing Surfboards From Waste Plastics

As part of a long term zero waste initiative, car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover has taken a unique approach to sustainability by shifting focus from the road to the ocean.

By repurposing plastic foam used early on in a car’s conceptual development, the company has successfully created a recycled surfboard dubbed ‘Waste to Wave’. In this article, we’re diving in to learn more about the project.

Zero waste

During the design phase for a new car, Jaguar Land Rover create concept models made largely from clay. In these models, plastic foam is used to form the skeleton of the car. Once the vehicle is greenlit for production this material would typically be disposed of, but with the Waste to Wave project this plastic foam is given a second – quite different – life.

Jaguar Land Rover already reuses all the clay from broken down concept models onsite – with excess clay sent to local universities. However the plastic, which can take 500 years to decompose in a landfill, was previously destroyed and disposed of. Now, the polyurethane can be repurposed. It is recovered from the clay models then sliced into blocks, ready to be shaped into surfboards or paddleboards.

Making Waves

The first surfboard was shaped and manufactured for testing by SkunkWorks Surf Co – based in Northern Ireland. Jaguar Land Rover invited the English Women’s Open Surfing Champion Lucy Campbell to test the board – which was hand-built to Campbell’s required specifications.

Featuring carbon fibre – in rails from the nose and a strip from the tail – the boards are focused on high performance, bringing additional strength without compromising on flexibility and maneuverability in the water.

This first board was created from foam plastic recovered from a Discovery Sport clay model which was broken down in June 2017. Since then, five more boards were created and showcased at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show in December. These were made from Range Rover Evoque design models, shaped again by SkunkWorks Surf Co.

To see how the first Waste to Wave surfboard was created, take a look at the official project video.

Sustainable manufacturing

The Waste to Wave project isn’t the only example of Jaguar Land Rover’s sustainable manufacturing process. The company is working to an end goal of zero waste. Annually, the company reclaims 50,000 tonnes of press shop aluminium waste, and in 2016 reused 18.5 tonnes of recycled clay. Repurposing polyurethane is the next advancement towards this goal, but it is unclear at the moment how many boards can and will be made, or if they will eventually be made available for sale to the public.

What Jaguar Land Rover has demonstrated with this project is the potential for waste materials to become valuable assets, rather than burdens. The more that a company can re-evaluate the sustainability of its manufacturing, design and development processes, the more opportunities can arise.

Zero waste is a lofty goal – but a worthwhile one. Avoiding landfill through the intuitive reuse of materials may not be viable for everyone, but that doesn’t mean materials such as plastics need to be left forgotten at the landfill.

Commercial businesses can work to develop focused waste management solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of their company. At Danjo’s Skip Hire, we recycle at least 90% of all commercial waste we collect, and can tailor your waste management needs around you.

Danjo’s Skip Hire provide reliable recycling services across London and Croydon for domestic and commercial customers. We also provide skip hire services and are fully licensed to transport and dispose of your hazardous waste. To find out more about our recycling services in Croydon, Sutton and beyond, simply contact us today.