Ford Bronco Sport’s Recycled Plastic Parts Help Save the Ocean

Published on December 8, 2021 in News by Guillaume Rivard

Automakers are making increasing use of sustainable or recycled materials in their vehicle interiors. Following a number of footwear, sunglasses and even T-shirt companies, Ford is now the first automaker to use 100-percent recycled ocean plastics to produce automotive parts.

More specifically, we’re talking about wiring harness clips in the Bronco Sport. Not much, of course, but it’s a start. Other parts and other models will follow, such as transmission brackets, wire shields and floor side rails—all stationary parts with strength and durability demands that the material can meet or exceed.

“It is a strong example of circular economy, and while these clips are small, they are an important first step in our explorations to use recycled ocean plastics for additional parts in the future,” says Jim Buczkowski, vice president of research at Ford.

Photo: Ford

According to Ford, despite spending time in saltwater and sunlight, the recycled material is as strong and durable as previously used petroleum-based parts but with a 10-percent cost savings and requiring less energy to produce.

It is estimated that up to 13 million metric tons of plastics enter the ocean each year. Much of that is attributed to the fishing industry, which has come to rely on plastic fishing nets and other equipment. Fortunately, various efforts around the world to retrieve some of the discarded plastics help preserve marine life and reduce shoreline pollution.

By the way, other forms of recycled plastics can be found elsewhere in Ford vehicles. Most recently, the automaker used recycled water bottles to produce lightweight, aerodynamic-enhancing, noise-reducing underbody shields on the Escape.

Watch: A Look Inside the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport

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