We aren’t sure what to think of this news. On one hand, Ford is making the most of a bad situation by using plastic from our planet’s oceans to make car parts. On the other hand, the thought that there’s more than enough plastic in our waters for this to be a thing should bother everyone.
Being the glass-half-full bunch that we are, we’re going to focus on Ford’s efforts in the meantime. The company has announced that the wiring harness clips of the Bronco are now being made from recycled plastic sourced from the ocean, and that it plans to expand its use of this material for other parts.
Right now, Ford Bronco Sport units are getting this treatment. The company also says that the new material being used for the wiring harness clips is just as durable as its petroleum-based counterparts, despite being 10% cheaper and requiring less energy to make.
So, how does this work? First, plastic is harvested from the ocean. This is then washed to remove saltwater, then dried and turned into small pellets which are injection-molded into a shape. In this case, it’s in the shape of the clip being used in the Bronco.
“This is another example of Ford leading the charge on sustainability,” Ford vice president of research Jim Buczkowski said in a statement.
“It is a strong example of circular economy, and while these clips are small, they are an important first step in our explorations to use recycled ocean plastics for additional parts in the future.”
Eventually, the US carmaker says transmission brackets, side rails, and wire shields will be made using recycled plastic, too. Should more car companies take this approach when it comes to manufacturing parts?
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