Plastic waste is a very big problem in the world today, but Ford has done its bit to combat the issue.
Each new EcotSport SUV features carpets that have been made using 470 single-use plastic bottles. Since the car was introduced in 2012, Ford has made use of more than 650 million 500-millilitre bottles. The combined weight of those bottles are said to weigh an estimated 8,262 metric tons and, if they were aid end to end, would stretch more than twice around the world.
Ford has been using recycled bottles in its cars for more than two decades, with them first being used in the Mondeo. Over the last 20 years, Ford has recycled 1.2 billion bottles globally per year.
“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, at Ford Motor Company.
To turn plastic into car carpets, the bottles and their caps have to be shredded into tiny flakes. The flakes are then heated to 260° Celsius and are melted down, then they are formed in to fibres the width of a single human hair. Those fibres are spun into a yarn by twisting multiple fibres together, which is then turned into carpets.