In a reaction to some OEMs choosing to move away from using leather in their vehicles, One 4 Leather points out that, if the industry stopped using the material, 35 million hides would go to landfill and result in an extra 644 million kg of CO2e emitted annually. However, increasing use of leather would save hides from landfill, with more than 64 million kg of CO2e saved per 10% more hides used.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, 331 million cattle are processed each year by the meat industry, creating more than 2.18 billion m3 in hides. As meat consumption is on the rise, only more hides will go to landfill.

One 4 Leather estimates that 40% of the hides produced (over 3.8 billion kg) go to landfill, with just 18% of the remaining 60% taken by the automotive industry.

The organisation said: “Car manufacturers are keen to promote greener options to leather in the form of PU and PVC materials. However, most leather alternatives contain more than 80% plastic. It’s the small amount of plant or vegetable (mushroom, pineapple, cactus) content that grabs the headlines. These composite materials are difficult and currently very expensive to recycle, so they will inevitably end up in landfill.”