From recycling bin to underbody skin, Ford recycles 1.2 billion plastic bottles every year for vehicle parts

From recycling bin to underbody skin, Ford recycles 1.2 billion plastic bottles every year for vehicle parts

June 12, 2019
Marcia González

As a vast majority of plastics go un-recycled and as citizens and governments around the world amp up efforts to curb plastic use, Ford is growing its use of recycled plastic bottles that are turned into vehicle parts

Ford Motor Company is helping to play a huge part in promoting environmentally friendly auto parts, and one way it’s doing that is by using recycled plastic bottles for underbody shields on all cars and SUVs, and wheel liners on F-Series trucks.

“The underbody shield is a large part, and for a part that big, if we use solid plastic, it would likely weigh three times as much,” said Thomas Sweder, design engineer, Ford Motor Company. “We look for the most durable and highest-performing materials to work with to make our parts, and in this case, we are also creating many environmental benefits.”

In the past decade, aerodynamics has driven the need for underbody shields, and the use of plastics in vehicle parts is used globally and has grown exponentially: Ford uses about 1.2 billion recycled plastic bottles per year – about 250 bottles per vehicle on average.

Due to its light weight, recycled plastic is ideal for the manufacture of underbody shields, engine under shield and front and rear wheel arch liners that can help improve vehicle aerodynamics. These shields also help create a significantly quieter environment on the all-new 2020 Ford Escape.

Environmentally, using recycled plastics on vehicle parts helps reduce the amount of plastic that can end up in dangerous situations, such as the Pacific gyre, for example – a floating mass of plastic bigger than the size of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean.

“Ford is among the leaders when it comes to using recycled materials such as this, and we do it because it makes sense technically and economically as much as it makes sense for the environment,” Sweder concluded. “This material meets all of our robust specifications for durability and performance.”

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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