Ford has found a way of reusing millions of PET bottles. Each EcoSport SUV that the company produces is fitted with carpets made using 470 single-use plastic drink bottles.
And since Ford launched the EcoSport globally in 2012, it has provided a new lease of life for more than 650 million 500ml bottles, weighing an estimated 8,262 metric tons (assuming a weight of 12.7g/bottle and 1,384,274 EcoSport sales globally ) and that – if laid end to end – would stretch more than twice around the world (assuming that one 500ml bottle is 20.32cm in height).
Since first using recycled plastic in Mondeo more than 20 years ago, Ford now recycles 1.2 billion bottles globally per year.
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.
Both the Ford EcoSport and Ford EcoBoost engines are built at Ford’s assembly plant in Craiova, Romania.