When electric Ford Focuses start rolling off the assembly line in March, some vehicles will incorporate recycled plastic bottles tossed away at CES.
The new EV will use Repreve seating material made by Unifi. Repreve is a blend of post-industrial fiber waste and post-consumer waste such as the plastic water bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Each electric Focus will have the equivalent of 22 plastic bottles in its interior, and the strategy is expected to divert 2 million post-consumer plastic bottles from landfills.
If you're attending either the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas or the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit (or both!), you'll want to make sure that any plastic bottles make it into the recycling bin. Ford and Unifi will be collecting some of the plastic water bottles made of PET used by conventioneers and will recycle them into cloth for Ford's first EV.
The move seems a little gimmicky, but it's not the only way that Ford is lowering its carbon footprint from manufacturing. Many vehicles also include soy foam seat cushions and head restraints (headrests), wheat-straw-filled plastic, castor oil foam in instrument panels, recycled resins for underbody systems, recycled yarns on seat covers, and natural-fiber plastic for interior components. According to Ford, approximately 90 percent of a current Ford vehicle is recyclable, and the carmaker is working to increase that to 100 percent.