Seats in Ford Focus Electric made from recycled bottles
Sitting on empty plastic bottles while driving or riding in a car would be less than ideal. That’s not the case when it comes to the new Ford Focus Electric, as it features seat fabric made of recycled material that includes the equivalent of more than 20 plastic bottles per car.
The fiber – called Repreve® – is made from a hybrid blend of recycled materials and manufactured by Unifi, Inc.
Unifi officials say 22 plastic 16-ounce water bottles are used in the seat fabric of a single Focus Electric. The figure is based on the amount of Repreve branded fiber used in the production of fabric in each vehicle.
Ford is the first automaker to use Repreve branded fiber in its seat fabric.
The 2012 Ford Focus Electric runs on battery power alone, requiring no gasoline and producing zero carbon dioxide emissions.
In 2009 Ford mandated that fabric suppliers use a minimum of 25 percent recycled content for all 2009 and beyond model year vehicles. Since then, 37 different fabrics meeting the requirements have been developed and incorporated into Ford vehicles.
Repreve is a combination of post-industrial fiber waste and post-consumer waste, like the plastic water bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate plastic. Using Repreve also reduces energy consumption by offsetting the need to use newly refined crude oil for production.
Ford previously announced it is using 25 20-ounce plastic bottles to make the carpeting in every all-new Ford Escape utility vehicle it builds. It’s the first time Ford has used this type of carpeting in an SUV.
Over the past several years Ford has concentrated on increasing the use of nonmetal recycled and bio-based materials whenever possible, provided these materials are environmentally favorable in the specific application. Examples include soy foam seat cushions and head restraints, wheat straw-filled plastic, castor oil foam in instrument panels, recycled resins for underbody systems, recycled yarns on seat covers and natural-fiber plastic for interior components.