It is great to see green work moving into high gear in the automotive industry. David Moye writes a great article on scientists who are trying to find more sustainable ways to build car parts believe the answers may be found in things such as mushroom roots.
The newest episode of the PBS series “Nova,” which airs Wednesday, focuses on the new discoveries that scientists such as Deborah Mielewski, the technical leader of plastics research at Ford Motor Co., are working on to reduce the carbon tire track that autos leave on the environment.
For instance, Mielewski says Ford has been working to find a way to reduce the use of petroleum plastics since 2000, and the work is finally paying off big.
“Green plastics used to be unpopular,” Mielewski admitted. “We were used to getting the first meeting with people, but we’d never get invited back. People don’t like to move to new materials.”
However, the cost of petroleum rose at the same time as interest in protecting the environment, and Ford decided to jump on the green trend with some success.
Currently, as much as 10 percent of car parts that are typically made from petroleum plastics can now be made from soy-based polyurethane foams or “bioplastic.”
In fact, the 2011 Ford Fiesta uses bioplastic not only in soft foam seats but also for hard plastic surfaces like the dashboard.
I love this aggressive green attitude Ford is taking and I am sure it will pay off for them long-term.