Materials: Environmentally friendly and recyclable

› Almost one-third of the materials in the current ŠKODA OCTAVIA are recycled
› Homogeneous and biodegradable materials can be used several times over
› New materials obtained from waste play an increasingly important role

Mladá Boleslav, 19 September 2022 – Using recyclable materials, and preferably materials that have already been recycled once, is crucial to the sustainability of cars. This applies to a vehicle’s body and chassis as well as its interior. According to EU Directive 2005/64/EC, at least 85% of a vehicle’s weight must be recyclable and a further ten per cent recoverable at least in terms of energy. ŠKODA AUTO exceeds these requirements and is working within the Volkswagen Group on recovering more than 95% of the material and reusing it in-house.

“Being able to almost completely recycle a car is an ideal scenario for a sustainably oriented manufacturer. At ŠKODA and in the Volkswagen Group, we have set ourselves the goal of recovering more than 95%, significantly more than the EU target of 85%. What we want above all is to reuse as many of the recycled materials as possible ourselves and keep them in a cycle. That’s why we are continuously researching even more efficient recycling processes and new materials, preferably from natural, renewable sources or even waste products.”

Johannes Neft, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Technical Development

At the end of its life cycle, a vehicle is disassembled so that as many of its components as possible can be recycled. Metals are used to produce new steel and aluminium for new castings. Waste glass is turned into new panes or insulating material made of fibreglass. Plastics can be transformed into new everyday products such as clothes hangers or flower pots. Currently, around half of the material is extracted using pyrometallurgical technology in collaboration with external recycling companies. ŠKODA is also increasingly using recycled feedstock in constructing new vehicles; at present, almost one-third of the materials in a ŠKODA OCTAVIA are recycled. In addition to steel, aluminium and glass, these include plastics and insulation materials, for example, for underbody panelling, wheel arch liners and boot mats.

Selecting materials with recyclability in mind

As early as the material selection stage for a new vehicle, ŠKODA AUTO’s Technical Development department takes into account the recyclability of the feedstock and is involved in research with the Technical University of Liberec. One goal is to increase the proportion of monomaterials that are most easily and efficiently recycled due to their homogeneity. Monomaterials are used, for example, in the interior trim, air ducts and as copper conductors in cable harnesses. After recycling, they can be turned into seat covers or interior carpets. Due to demanding technical requirements, the majority of parts in a new vehicle are now made of composite materials. An example of this is the door trim of an OCTAVIA, where 50% of the composite material is made from renewable feedstock. Biodegradable materials are generally easy to recycle: ŠKODA AUTO has developed a compostable film made from corn starch to package vehicle parts that are shipped from the Czech Republic to the plant in Pune, India. This is applied as a soil conditioner and organic fertiliser after three to six months of use at the logistics park in Pune. This saves 500 kilogrammes of conventional plastic film every month.

Sustainably processing and in some cases completely eliminating animal leather

Animal leather is traditionally used for car interiors. To improve the environmental footprint of the leather, ŠKODA AUTO is shifting to sustainable processes to treat it; the company uses an extract from olive tree leaves to tan the leather used in the ENYAQ iV. In addition, ŠKODA’s interior designers are increasingly opting for textile upholstery in the interior where leather would otherwise be used, for example, on the dashboard. Depending on the model, leather is used exclusively for the centre section of the seats, on the steering wheel and sometimes on the gear stick and handbrake.



Fabrics made of PET bottles and a by-product of sugar production used as fill material

Fabrics made from up to 70% recycled PET bottles are now available for the ŠKODA ENYAQ iV and the ŠKODA KAROQ. These are processed into yarns after recycling. The seat covers included in the Lodge Design Selection for the ENYAQ iV are made from a combination of these yarns and natural virgin wool. ŠKODA AUTO is also working on developing sustainable materials with natural constituents that will enter series production in the future. These include sugar beet fibres, a by-product from a sugar factory in Dobrovice, not far from ŠKODA AUTO’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. The beet fibres will be used to create fill material for plastic parts. ŠKODA engineers will also be making the most of the sugar beet pulp; it is dyed in a special process and used to create design accents in the interior. ŠKODA AUTO has applied for a patent for the process.

New technologies to improve the sustainability of tyres and reduce energy consumption

ŠKODA is also specifically addressing the issue of sustainability in tyre development. In future, tyres with a high proportion of sustainable material or FSC-certified tyres may be used, providing they meet stringent quality and safety requirements. To this end, the company is engaged in close discussions with its tyre partners. Continental, for example, offers tyres with a higher recycled content and is researching the use of natural rubber from dandelions. Bridgestone already supplies ŠKODA with lighter and lower rolling resistance tyres for the ENYAQ iV. New technologies, such as efficient LED lighting on and in the vehicle, optimised drive programmes for the engine and transmission and continuously fine-tuning the vehicle software through over-the-air updates, also ensure lower energy consumption and therefore lower emissions in current ŠKODA vehicles. In addition, an optional heat pump enhances the efficiency of the heating and air conditioning in the ENYAQ iV family.


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Vítězslav Kodym
Head of Product Communications
T +420 326 811 784

Zbyněk Straškraba
Product Communications
T +420 326 811 785

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