Ford Motors decided in 2008 that it wanted to become a global leader in the use of recycled materials. To begin its quest towards a more green manufacturing process, the company created the upholstery of its Ford Escape hybrid out of recycled materials. Fast forward to the 2013 Ford Fusion, and consumers are now sitting on materials made out of approximately 40 recycled plastic bottles.
While Ford started out with a single recycled parts maker, the company has now made it a condition of doing business. For example, the company requires that 25 percent recycled fabric be used in all of its vehicles.
According to Forbes, the automobile manufacturer is now aiming to create 1.5 million yards of fabric per year. That fabric is used to create 41 recycled products that are implemented across 15 vehicle lines including the Ford Taurus, Ford Fiesta, and the F-150. Even the Ford Mustang is now comprised partly of recycled materials.
Currently Ford has implemented recycled materials for seat cushions, plastic underbody panels made from recycled car battery casings, and even sound-absorption materials that are manufactured through the recycling of old denim.
Not only is Ford using recycled materials, the initiative has actually led to better closed-loop manufacturing processes. By creating better recycling systems the company has been able to lower costs while reducing waste by repurposing trimmings and bad dye lots.
It is not just Ford’s car parts manufacturers who are getting in on the act. Employees at the company are hoping to collect two million plastic bottles, which will in turn be manufactured into new car components.
One of recycling’s biggest problems is turning waste into profitable materials. With the help of Ford and other manufacturers, we may see a more profitable recycling sector in the near future.
Do you like the idea of purchasing a Ford or other vehicles made largely out of recycled components?