Using materials with recycled content diverts consumer and industrial waste from landfill, reduces the depletion of valuable natural resources, and can reduce both energy consumption and costs. However, they must deliver the same quality, appearance and performance as virgin materials.
In some cases, we recycle the materials from our auto parts back into the same use, a process known as “closed-loop recycling.” The aluminum scraps from the stamping of window openings are turned into body panels that can comprise 40 percent of the original metal used.
To achieve the level of purity required for auto bodies, we have invested $60 million in equipment at three of our U.S. plants. This enables us to recycle 5 million pounds of high-strength, military-grade aluminum scrap every week. That’s enough to build more than 37,000 new F-Series truck bodies a month.
All of our vehicles contain a minimum of 25 percent post-industrial PET content, as well as recycled post-consumer carpeting.
Looking further ahead, we are exploring other waste streams, including shredded banknotes and recycled ocean plastics. An estimated 14 million pounds of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year. We’ve been finding uses for this mixed plastic stream in some of our fabrics, which will be critical to helping the planet and ocean wildlife.
We are also:
Transforming post-consumer HDPE laundry detergent containers and milk bottles into blow-molded automotive components, including some HDPE ducts that were made from detergent bottles in the aftermath of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey in Houston
Exploring how post-consumer drinks bottles can be used to make energy-absorbent materials
Working in a non-competitive environment to explore using industrial waste products in our production