Mercedes Benz goes Bananas

Daimler Chrysler has used a few natural fabrics and fibres in its Benz’s before but now is using them in structural parts- a cover for the spare tire in the three-door A class. They are mixing abaca banana fibres with polypropylene for their first structural components combining natural and synthetic fibres. Mercedes claims a 60% reduction in energy required to produce the part,reductions in waste and CO2 emissions. The fibres are up to 2.7 metres long, and are immensely strong and rot resistant. Mercedes is also investing in a project to reforest part of the Philippines where abaca banana plants grow under the forest canopy. Now this is an idea with appeal. ::David Booth in National Post (not online)