The idea that a major carmaker is as committed to the green effort as Ford seems to be still surprises me. Maybe that's because I grew up during the evil old days before Earth Day happened, and, in fact, marched and celebrated on that first one. Then, automakers were the bad guys. They only seemed to care about how much more gas their models could guzzle in the race to make a faster car with a more powerful engine. That meant they were in league with the oil companies. I won't mention exactly what I think about them.
I'm not saying it didn't take a really long time, and a lot of people making a lot of noise about our health and the environment, before car companies and chemical and plastic giants started paying attention and investigating alternative materials. It did take a really long time, and huge amounts of energy and effort on the part of many people, as well as an awful lot of money spent on public service campaigns and research, to convince companies and consumers that green is good and necessary. And it's taken a lot more time to come up with viable alternatives.
But it happened, and we're here. Ford is recycling bottles for car seats because consumers care about being green, and the company is listening to its customers.
Love both the technology advance of deploying recycled plastic bottles for car seats, but also the promotional effort to recycle plastic bottles from events as part a way to draw attention to recycling. Okay, maybe it's good PR and maybe it's only part of the latest corporate trend of customer experience or finally listening to what customers want (thank you social media) and have to say. Whatever the reason, it's a good change Ford is making and other car companies are following suit. So maybe car companies aren't the bad guys after all?
I did not attend the first Earth Day, but I do appreciate helping the environment. Stating the amount of bottles in each seat puts this in a measurement that consumers can associate with. It is great to see a proud American company keeping up with the green initiative.
@Rob-you stole the thought right out of my mind, that sourcing the trash from the CES show was a gimmick that likely cost more energy than it saved.Cool that the fabric is made from re-processed PET, but water bottles are everywhere.Kudus to FORD engineering to target this type of recycling and maintain the economics in the process, but I hope they don't exploit the claim of rescuing all the bottles from the big event shows. To me, the showy Grand-Standing claim kind of takes-away from the excellent accomplishment of the tech advance.
I am not old enough to have been able to attend the first earth day, but I do remember some throughout the 80's. I do remember when water in a bottle was first sold and how many people saw it as a waste of money at first. Something that would never catch on and quickly fade away. But it's still here and people by bottled water by the cases. Not exactly my idea of good use of a limited resource like crude oil, but it is good to see someone capture a few million bottles for recycle.
I don't drink much bottled water and refuse to send my Coke bottles back to Coca-Cola just because they keep increasing the cost and I think sending the bottle back to them just puts more money in there pocket without a price break for me.
Kudos to Ford for even considering using recycled plastic in their cars. The German companies are required to recycle plastics in their vehicles, and no one I know of thinks they make cars of a lesser quality than the US brands.
I agree Tim. It's a small move forward, but it may be the kind of move that jostles other companies the implement similar programs. Plus, it may prompt technology moves that make green initiatives more and more feasible.
Ford is actually one of the first, if not the first, auto company to lay down mandates to its suppliers about recycled content. One thing I'm finding about both bio-based plastics and recycled plastics, at least in engineering-grade plastics, is that in many industries one supplier and/or one OEM has taken the lead. For instance, DuPont was an early plastics maker to begin the shift to bioplastics, and Fujitsu was an early computer OEM to begin the move to same in that industry. In all cases, the alternative material has to meet the required performance specs.
And to repeat myself re shipping bottles across the country, that usually happens anyway to get materials to industrial recycling facilities. The purpose of recycling is not always to save energy: it's to keep plastic out of landfills, the ocean, and bird's stomachs.
Inspired by the hooks a parasitic worm uses to penetrate its host's intestines, the Karp Lab has invented a flexible adhesive patch covered with microneedles that adheres well to wet, soft tissues, but doesn't cause damage when removed.
Researchers at the Missouri University of Science & Technology have designed a new nanoscale material that can transmit light faster than the 186,000 miles per second it usually takes to travel through air.
It has often been said that as California goes, so goes the nation. This spring, the state's wind power is setting energy generation records and solar energy generation is expected to rise sharply during the second half of 2013.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is