Henry Ford was committed to using natural and recycled material in his manufacturing and the company that bears his name continues to follow his business practices. As part of its 'Further with Ford' presentation, Ford elaborated on its efforts to use everything from ‘Blue jeans to pop bottles’ to reduce waste.
The F-150 uses a number of different recycled materials:
- Recycled cotton and bluejean scrap have new life as sound insulation and padding.
- Ford uses the plastic from 2.7 million plastic bottles each year for different plastic and fleece parts.
- Recycled tires and soybeans are used to make exterior mirrors and seals. Soy-based polyurethane is used for seat backs, head restraints and seat cushions.
Ford was also the first automaker to start using soy-based foam in 2008. Toyota now uses the soy foam for some of its insulation.
The auto maker is experimenting with a number of other bio-based products. Nylon that is made from castor oil is used in fuel lines and the wiring harness includes rice hull content. The underbody cover of the truck contains rubber made out of recycled tires and plastics.
Other automakers are also racing to become more sustainable. General Motors is using recycled plastic to make radiator shrouds for some of its pickups. Recycled cardboard is being used as padding for some of the headliners in vehicles.
Just last month, General Motors announced that it has recycled two million water bottles, after the Flint water crisis. The bottles were washed, flaked and used to make fleece. The fleece was used to make coats and sleeping bags for the homeless as well as engine covers and air filters.