Automakers throughout the space are amping up their efforts to offer more sustainable services and cars. Aside from the industry-wide paradigm shift toward electrification, many companies are finding new ways to reduce their carbon footprint by exploring alternative fuel types like hydrogen fuel cells or by sourcing sustainable materials for car parts. For American auto-titan Ford, they decided to employ the latter strategy by becoming the first automaker to use 100% recycled ocean plastics to produce car parts by utilizing the material in the Ford Bronco Sport.
This sustainable change in manufacturing not only adds to Ford’s legacy of using sustainable materials in its cars but also makes the Ford Bronco Sport the first car to feature parts made of 100% recycled ocean plastic. While it’s been common practice for manufacturers to use recycled ocean plastic to construct anything from sunglasses to water bottles to clothes, Ford’s announcement marks the first time an automaker has decided to source its car parts from recycled ocean plastic. The fact that it is using recycled ocean plastic to make the parts for the exceedingly popular Bronco Sport further shows the automaker’s intent to use more sustainable materials. The first part of the Ford Bronco Sport that will be made of recycled ocean plastic will be the SUV’s wiring harness clips. Using recycled ocean plastic is advantageous for several different reasons: it’s better for the environment, it offers the same strength compared to its petroleum-made counterparts, and it brings with it a 10% cost-saving as it requires less energy to produce. Sounds like a win-win-win to us. The plastic material is collected from the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea by DSM Engineering Materials.
To make the parts, DSM Engineering Materials harvests discarded finishing nets and then washes, dries, and extrudes the nets into plastic pellets, which are then injection-molded by supplier HellermannTyton into the desired clip shape. Ford is already planning to use recycled ocean plastic to construct other parts like transmission brackets, wire shields, and floor side rails in the near future.