Ford Motor Co. said it plans divert about 2 million post-consumer plastic bottles for use in the new Focus Electric and other new vehicles for the next model year.
The Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford will use a Repreve-based seat fabric in these vehicles. In the Focus Electric, Ford’s first all-electric passenger vehicle, the fabrics are made from about 22 polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles in each car. Repreve is a polyester fiber made from a hybrid blend of recycled materials, including post-industrial fiber waste and post-consumer waste such as the plastic water bottles made of PET.
Ford is working on the project with Greensboro, N.C.-based Unifi Inc., a fabric supplier. The Focus Electric is the first Ford vehicle to have an interior made from 100 percent clean technology, according to a Unifi news release.
"After decades of education, the United States PET bottle recycling rate is only at 29 percent, about half the rate of Europe," said Roger Berrier, Unifi president and chief operating officer. “We hope this recycling initiative with Ford will help raise visibility around the importance of recycling with a goal to drive recycling rates to 100 percent, diverting millions of plastic bottles from entering the waste stream and potentially back into Repreve-branded fibers."