Ford researchers are testing the composite for use in wiring brackets, upholstery, and storage bins such as the kind a customer uses to hold coins and other small objects.
Almost two years ago, Ford began working with Heinz, The Coca-Cola Company, Nike Inc. and Procter & Gamble to accelerate development of a 100% plant-based plastic to be used to make fabric or packaging with a lower environmental impact than petroleum-based packaging materials currently in use.
Heinz researchers were looking for new ways to recycle and repurpose peels, stems and seeds from the more than two million tons of tomatoes the company uses annually to make Heinz Ketchup.
Ford’s commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle is part of the company’s global sustainability strategy.
In recent years, Ford has increased its use of recycled nonmetal and bio-based materials. With cellulose fiber-reinforced console components and rice hull-filled electrical cowl brackets introduced in the last year, Ford’s bio-based portfolio now includes eight materials in production. Other examples are coconut-based composite materials, recycled cotton material for carpeting and seat fabrics, and soy foam seat cushions and head restraints.