Turning plastic bottles into carpets

Each of Ford's EcoSport SUVs is fitted with carpets made using 470 single-use plastic drink bottles. Since Ford launched the EcoSort globally in 2012, it has provided a new lease of life for more than 650 million 500-millilitre bottles, weighing an estimated 8,262 metric tons * and that – if laid end to end – would stretch more than twice around the world.

Turning plastic into car carpets first involves shredding both the bottles and their caps into tiny flakes. These are then heated to 260°C and melted down before being formed in to fibres the width of a single human hair. Those fibres are spun into a yarn by twisting multiple fibres together – and it is this material that is woven into carpets. In Europe as a whole, only 30 per cent of plastic waste is recycled.

Since first using recycled plastic in the Ford Mondeo more than 20 years ago, Ford now recycle 1.2 billion bottles globally per year.

Tony Weatherhead, materials engineer said:

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."

Source: Ford Europe

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