Car Recycling and Incorporating Recycled Materials in Cars

car recyclingIt’s no secret that the automotive industry is not the most environmentally-friendly industry. The car making process has a lot of negative impacts on the environment. For one thing, a lot of electricity is consumed during the manufacturing process, and the process of producing electricity creates pollution, as well.

Then, there are the obvious negative effects that driving a car has, with exhaust gases polluting the air, affecting people’s health and contributing to global warming. But, during the last decade or so, there have been some serious efforts made by car making companies to reduce these negative effects by producing low and zero emission vehicles, such as plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.

This addresses the issue of air pollution as a result of cars emitting exhaust fumes, and as far as making the manufacturing process more environmentally-friendly, there are companies that use recycled materials to make some features on both the exterior and interior of their vehicles.

So, one such company that uses recycled materials is Ford. They have been doing it since 2005, and various Ford models have some sort of recycled materials in seat fabrics. Additionally, the 2012 Ford Focus Electric features the REPREVE’s seat fabric, made from recycled plastic bottles. Some 20 plastic bottles are needed to make the seat fabric for one car. Ford expects to save some $4 million by using recycled materials.

Chrysler, on the other hand, uses post-consumer waste to make some of the plastic interior parts. They also put recycled foam into seat cushions, something that a couple other car makers do, as well.

Japanese car manufacturer Nissan is taking some huge steps towards making their cars as eco-friendly as possible. They collect damaged bumpers, pulverize them, and make new bumpers that can be installed on new and used vehicles. Nissan also uses the aluminum wheels from end-of-life vehicles to make new suspension parts with them. Nissan Leaf is one of their cars with recycled content on it. They include plastic recycled from end-of-life home appliances, Bio PET fabric, and vibration damper with wood powder.

These examples are proof that if they are willing, car manufacturers can make eco-friendly vehicles, thus contributing to a cleaner environment.  In the United States, 75% of the material used in vehicles is recyclable.  Steel is used in the construction of various vehicle parts, which makes cars very susceptible to recycling.

Steel can be recycled multiple times, and it’s the most recycled material in the world. Steel recycling eliminates the need of mining iron ore, which has negative effects on the environment. That is why there are laws in the European Union regulating car recycling that will require 95% of the vehicle to be reused or recycled. This requirement will come into effect in 2015, and for now, 75% of the vehicle has to be recyclable.

Jordan Perch is an active promoter of the new developments in the automotive industry. He is an author of many how-to articles related to DMV, safe driving, buying/selling vehicles, auto insurance etc.

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