Ford is Increasing Use of Non-Steel Renewable & Recyclable Materials


Image: Ford
"In 2009, Ford reduced the amount of automotive-related plastics to landfills by nearly 30 million pounds"
Making cars more fuel efficient, and eventually run 100% on clean and renewable energy, is a great goal. But in parallel, it is important to clean up the materials and processes used to make the cars themselves. Steel is already widely recycled, but what about all the other materials (foams, plastics, fabrics, etc)? Most automakers have been working on that problem, and the latest news from that front comes from Ford. So what did they do?
Photo: Michael Graham Richard

Here's some of the stuff Ford has been doing with non-metal materials:

  • Ford is making its vehicles, which are 85 percent recyclable by weight, more eco-friendly through increased use of renewable and recyclable materials; the 2010 Ford Taurus is the latest model to use eco-friendly bio-based seat cushions
  • In 2009, Ford reduced the amount of automotive-related plastics to landfills by nearly 30 million pounds and saved approximately $4.5 million by reusing recycled materials
  • Ford’s “reduce, reuse and recycle” commitments are part of its broader global sustainability strategy to reduce its environmental footprint
  • Automobiles are among the most recycled consumer products. More than 95 percent of all end-of-life vehicles in the U.S. are processed for recycling – compared to 52 percent of all paper and 31 percent of all plastic soft drink bottles
Only Part of What We Need to Do Of course, Ford is only an example here; these things are good for all vehicles, and should be widely adopted in the auto industry. Combined with clean energy to power the vehicles (this will require a transition to electric cars and a cleaning up of the power grid) and the factories where they are made, this can help significantly reduce the footprint of transportation.

The other half of the task is re-designing our cities so that we don't need cars nearly as much (see New Urbanism), and so that alternatives to cars are fast, safe, cheap, and available.

Via Ford

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Tags: Bioplastics | Recycling | Transportation

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