Old carpets and jeans are driving sustainability at Ford Motors

Ford Motor Company is using recycled tyres, carpet and blue jeans to help reduce the carbon footprint of its new vehicles as part of its global sustainability drive.

According to a report from newswire Environmental News Service, the motor giant is looking to incorporate more recycled plastics and bio-based materials during its manufacturing process.

Examples include soy foam seat cushions, wheat straw-filled plastic, recycled resins for underbody systems, recycled yarns on seat covers, interior padding made from post-consumer denim cotton and interior components made from natural fibre plastics.

Ford's technical leader for research & innovation, Dr Cynthia Flanigan, said: "When it comes to finding a way to use more renewable and recyclable content in our vehicles, Ford and our suppliers are looking at every part of a vehicle.

"As long as an application makes sense and upholds strict quality standards, we'll look to get these sustainable materials inside our vehicles."

In one example, Ford has teamed up with one of its suppliers, Recycled Polymeric Materials, to transform used tyres into seals and gaskets for its vehicles. The gaskets and seals are derived from 25% post-consumer particulate from recycled tyres and 17% bio-renewable content from soy.

The sustainable gaskets were first introduced to Ford in 2008 and are now used in 11 vehicle models including cars, vans and wagons. On some models, Ford is also using cylinder head covers made of a nylon resin from Wellman Engineering Resins made from 100% recycled carpet.

Ford claims that about 85% of the materials used on its vehicles by weight are recyclable, and 95% of all vehicles retired from use each year are processed for recycling.

Maxine Perella



Waste & resource management
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