Volvo Advocates For the Use Of Recycled Plastic in New Cars

Recycled-plastics Volvo XC60 10 photos
Photo: Volvo
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Remember our story on how Nissan of Europe fights millions of tons of plastic that end up in the ocean and on the shore? Volvo wants in on the action as well, which is why the Swedish car company came up with the “Clean Seas” initiative.
Take a closer look at the decals on the door of this XC60, and you’ll notice that Volvo’s end game is to “turn the tide on plastic.” Other than that, is there anything special about this luxury crossover utility vehicle? In a nutshell, yes it is!

“Volvo Cars is committed to minimizing its global environmental footprint,” said Hakan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo. “Environmental care is one of Volvo’s core values and we will continue to find new ways to bring this into our business. This car and our recycled plastics ambition are further examples of that commitment.”

As opposed to the bone-stock XC60, the tunnel console in this example is made from renewable fibers and plastics sourced from fishing nets and maritime ropes. The carpet, on the other hand, uses fibers from plastic bottles and cotton from clothing offcuts. Whereas the seats also use PET fibers, used car seats from old Volvo vehicles were used to create the sound-absorbing material under the hood.

Revealed at the Ocean Summit during the Gothenburg Volvo Ocean Race stopover, the recycled-plastics XC60 is a one-off, but not that kind of one-off. The automaker announced last month that it’s committed to eradicating single-use plastics across all of its premises and events by the end of 2019, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

By 2025, Sweden’s best plans to have climate-neutral manufacturing operation all around the world, including the automaker’s Chinese factories. And also by 2025, fully electric vehicles are expected to make up 50 percent of Volvo’s global sales.

Last, but certainly not least, the eco-friendly XC60 study is the first step in Volvo’s ambition to use at least 25 percent recycled plastics in every newly launched vehicle. These being said, the BMW i3 is ISO-certified 14040 and 14044 by the TUV on carbon footprint and product lifecycle since 2013, so please put your hands together for Volvo being late to the party.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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