Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

When big companies do good things: Ford Motor Co. to convert millions of plastic water bottles into car interiors

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With the automotive world currently focused on Detroit and the 2012 North American Auto Show, Big Three automaker Ford Motor Company has announced one of the most intriguing new eco-friendly car features ever.

Partnering with REPREVE, who specialize in recycled fabrics, Ford will divert around 2 million plastic water bottles from festering in a landfill to create seat fabric for the new Focus Electric vehicles. It will be the first car able to boast an interior of 100% clean technology.

Ford and REPREVE are currently collecting bottles at both the Detroit Auto Show and in Las Vegas at the Consumers Electronics Show that will be used to make the material (they estimate it will take around 22 bottles to produce each car interior).

They also use the occasion to report the sobering news that in America, only 29% of plastic bottles find their way to being recycled, which is about half the rate in Europe. Awkward!

“Ford is committed to delivering vehicles with leading fuel efficiency while targeting at least 25 percent clean technology in interior materials across our lineup,” Carol Kordich, the lead designer of Sustainable Materials for Ford said in a press release. “The Focus Electric highlights this commitment as Ford’s first gas-free vehicle, and the first in the automotive industry to use branded REPREVE.”

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