This year Ford will be partnering with McDonalds to produce vehicle components made from Mcdonalds food waste products. Specifically, Ford will be using coffee chaff — coffee bean skin that comes off during roasting, to create a more sustainable headlamp housing.
Headlamp housings are typically made of a combination of plastic and talc. However, talc as a mineral is not sustainable. Coffee chaff is widely available and a mostly wasted by-product of coffee production. It is also lighter than talc which is another small advantage in the auto industry.
This project is part of an ongoing commitment by Ford to reduce the environmental impact of their manufacturing process. According to a recent CNN article, “The auto company has been using soy-based foam in its cushions since 2011. It also uses waste from wheat, coconut, tomato and other plants in its cars in order to help meet some of its sustainability goals, which include using more renewable materials.”
It is good to see large automotive manufacturers, like Ford, looking for sustainable alternatives. Of course, automobile manufacturers and car parts manufacturers must conform to SAE international standards, and meet quality, durability, and reliability requirements to ensure vehicle and component lifespan warranties are met. Sustainable components must also pass these quality standards.
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