Ford Recycles 1.2 Billion Plastic Bottles Every Year for Vehicle Parts


Ford Motor Company isn’t only trying to save the environment by creating more and more eco-friendly vehicles, they’re actually going above and beyond by recycling over a billion plastic bottles every year.


Ford uses about 250 bottles per vehicle on average!


How, you’re asking. Well, the bottles are turned into underbody shields on all their cars and SUVs as well as wheel liners on all F-series trucks. This is a pretty genius use of these plastics. Ford didn’t just randomly choose plastic bottles, the company actually sought out the most durable and high performing materials and it turned out used bottles fit the bill.


“The underbody shield is a large part, and for a part that big, if we use solid plastic, it would likely weigh three times as much,” said Thomas Sweder, design engineer, Ford Motor Company. “We look for the most durable and highest performing materials to work with to make our parts, and in this case, we are also creating many environmental benefits.”


Here’s how it works: when plastic bottles are thrown into a recycling bin they’re collected with thousands of others and then shredded into small pieces. That scrap is typically sold to suppliers who turn it into a fiber. That fiber is than mixed with other types of fiber in a textile process and used to make one sheet of material. It’s that sheet of material that eventually makes its way into automotive parts.


Thanks to its light weight, these recycled plastics are perfectly suited for the manufacture of underbody shields, engine under shields, front and rear wheel arch liners, and more parts that help improve the vehicles aerodynamics. These shields are actually integral to the all-new 2020 Ford Escapes near silent cabin.


“Ford is among the leaders when it comes to using recycled materials such as this, and we do it because it makes sense technically and economically as much as it makes sense for the environment,” Sweder said. “This material meets all of our robust specifications for durability and performance.

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