5 Ways to Recycle a Seatbelt

You can make all sorts of things when these seatbelts give way.
You can make all sorts of things when these seatbelts give way.
Leander Baerenz/Getty Images

­­Ever wonder what happens to your car when it reaches the end of its life? It's not pretty. Most of it is sent to a scrap yard, where usable parts are stripped, and the rest is trashed. There's at least one part that can get a new life, though: the seatbelt.

Webbed fabric, often polyester or nylon, is used to make seatbelts. They're always made from a durable, but flexible material -- and it has to be if it's going to save your life in a car crash. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the webbed material used in seatbelts can hold 6,000 pounds (2,722 kilograms). For more on how seatbelts protect you, see How Seatbelts Work.

Seatbelt material can deteriorate slightly over time -- not enough to make it totally unusable, but enough to make it unsafe for your car. For that reason, and for aesthetic ones, seatbelts usually aren't stripped from old cars to be reused in other cars. That doesn't change the fact that the material is still strong enough to be used in a variety of other applications.

­In this article, we'll look at five ways innovative designers are recycling your old seatbelts.