Ford has outlined one of its measures for a sustainable future, detailing its use of recycled plastic bottles in the EcoSport SUV.
Since the little crossover went on sale in 2012, Ford has reused more than 650 million 500ml plastic bottles to make the vehicle’s carpets, with each car giving 470 bottles a new lease on life.
The company says the amount of bottles used since the EcoSport’s launch is the equivalent of an estimated 8262 metric tonnes, and if laid end to end would stretch more than twice around the world – based on a 20.32cm tall plastic bottle.
“Consumers have a hugely increased awareness of the harm that simply discarding plastic can do – but we have long been on a mission to increase the proportion of recycled and renewable materials that are used in every new car we make,” said Tony Weatherhead, materials engineer for Ford Motor Company.
To make the carpets, the Blue Oval shreds bottles and caps into tiny flakes, which are then heated to 260 degrees celsius and melted down to produce fibres as thin as a strand of human hair.
Ford then spins the fibres together into a yarn which is woven into carpets.
Europe only recycles around 30 per cent of its plastic waste, according to the European Commission plastic waste strategy.
Ford first used recycled plastic in the Mondeo two decades ago, and now recycles around 1.2 billion bottles each year.
The EcoSport is manufactured in several factories around the globe, including Craiova, Romania, for the European market. Australian versions are produced in India.