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Ford Bronco Sport Uses 100 Percent Recycled Ocean Plastic For Parts

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Ford has long been lauded for its recycling efforts at its plants and within its own vehicles. In fact, the automaker recycles over one million plastic bottles per year and uses that material to produce parts and even 3D print them, including the carpet present in the Ford EcoSport. Now, the Ford Bronco Sport has become the very first vehicle to utilize 100 percent recycled ocean plastic in some of its parts, the automaker has announced.

The Ford Bronco Sport features wiring harness clips made entirely from ocean-harvested plastic that fasten to the sides of the second-row seats and guide wires that power side-curtain airbags. The clips weigh just five grams each, are 10 percent cheaper to produce, and are just as strong and durable as petroleum-based clips with less energy required to produce them, Ford researchers discovered. Additionally, up to 13 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean each year, threatening marine life and polluting shorelines, so the clips help remove at least some of that.

“This is another example of Ford leading the charge on sustainability,” said Jim Buczkowski, vice president of research and Henry Ford technical fellow.” 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.”

In addition to providing the aforementioned advantages over petroleum-based clips, these ocean-harvested plastic clips also help create jobs. The plastic – made from items such as discarded nylon fishing nets – is collected from the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea by DSM Engineering Material, then washed, dried, and extruded to form small pellets. Those pellets are then injection-molded by supplier HellermannTyton into a desired shape.

“As a global leader in cable management innovation, HellermannTyton strives for eco-friendly ways to pave the path to a more sustainable future,” said Anisia Peterman, HellermannTyton’s automotive product manager. “Developments like this do not come easy, so we are proud to collaborate with Ford in support of a unique product solution that contributes to healthier oceans.”

Ford has been using recycled plastics not from the ocean to produce parts for over two decades now, and is already planning on creating additional components using recycled ocean plastics, including transmission brackets, wire shields, and floor side rails.

We’ll have more on Ford’s recycling efforts soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Bronco Sport news and continuous Ford news coverage.

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Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Bob

    No mention of the cost & energy involved in the process of the floating plastic to the actual end use.
    Another PR ruse.

    Reply
    1. Timmay

      Yea! Let’s leave all the garbage in the ocean!

      Reply
  2. David S

    Wow saying – just as strong and durable as petroleum-based clips – hahaha just because it is “recycled” doesn’t mean it it isn’t petroleum based. Plastic from the ocean is petroleum based – duh. Virtue signaling a five gram clip as “saving the ocean” . Now if Ford made all the exterior body panels from ocean waste you might have something there.

    Reply
    1. Dee Hart

      every little bit helps… now if Ford refused to invest in ocean-polluting countries until they clean up their own backyard, that would be something…
      Yes, all plastic is petroleum-based BUT recycling means less new petroleum is used. You may say a 5-gram clip is nothing but how much does a plastic water bottle tossed in the ocean weigh?

      Reply
  3. Montana Man

    Small steps, Ford; thank you.
    America and Americans are proud that an American company is leading in yet another way. I’m sure there are other parts to be fabricated from garbage and junk; we just don’t know about them yet.
    Also: signal all the virtues you want, Ford; we can’t know about advancements and progressive improvements if we’re not told about them. Helping America reduce harm to the planet is everyday patriotism.

    Reply
    1. David S

      In REALITY the “recycled material” is used fishing nets collected on the coast of India. According to the supplier DSM Engineering Material –

      Sharing the process, Dr Nilesh says, “The abandoned fishing nets are collected by fishermen locally. As the Indian coastline is vast, it is practically unfeasible to reach out to all the areas. Hence, we have tied up with local partners who collect these nets and transport them to the plant in Pune. The nets are then cleaned of all the dirt, seashells and other unwanted materials preparing them for a new lease of life.”

      He says the nets are mixed with additives and undergo a process developed by the company.

      The “additives” you may wonder ? It is additional plastic made from ………. petroleum.

      Personally I’m all for saving the planet, cleaning up the ocean, using recycled materials and Ford does throw in plastic bottles in manufacturing but this is truly smoke an mirrors released to make the “environmental justice warriors” feel better about buying a Ford. Uggg.

      Reply
  4. Montana Man

    K, Thx.

    Reply

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