If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that our society’s obsession with “convenience items” means that we have a big plastic problem. From bottles and straws to shopping bags and takeout containers, try to go a single day without running into a single-use plastic item and see what happens.
And the problem, say,experts, is getting worse, with literal mountains of plastic winding up in our waterways, harming marine life, and threatening the future of our planet.
Some manufacturers are turning to plastic recycling as a way to eat away at this accumulation problem. Sure, it’s great PR too, but whatever their motivation, I’ll take it.
Volvo has recently announced that, by year 2025, 25 percent of the plastic that it uses in its new cars will come from recycled sources. And to give you some perspective, the American Chemistry Council says that, because plastic components can weigh half of what traditional ones would, the average light vehicle now contains over 300 pounds of plastic.
The company has developed a sample of their XC60 sedan equipped with recycled plastic parts, to help illustrate what this would look like. In the prototype, the seat and carpet fibers both use plastic bottles, and a console is formulated, partly, from old fishing nets and ropes. The car even uses old Volvo seats as sound dampening material.
Volvo is not the first automaker to use recycled parts, and a few years back, Motor Trend put together a pretty extensive list of other innovative reuse – in case you’re looking for some light reading this weekend.
Some of the more creative notes include Ford’s use of recycled tires in its seals and gaskets in several models. The company also formed a partnership with Coca-Cola, integrating recycled soda bottles into the seats and door panels in one of its Ford Fusion models.