While suffering from plummeting sales and struggling to meet the market demand to reduce its footprints upon the environment, the American automotive industry are looking to recycled plastics to help cut costs and do their bit for the environment.
The automotive industry have long used recycled metals in production. But now, with costs rising in every facet of production, recycled plastics are a new cost offset that the industry can rely on to help keep them afloat.
But recycling plastics isn’t as simple as recycling metal. Recycled plastic yields lower-quality, significantly more brittle and less durable parts. “A lot of people, especially in this economy, are trying to cut costs without cutting quality,” said Lora Herron, a bio and recycled materials engineer at General Motors Corp. “Recycled plastics are a really good way to do that, as long as you’re careful about it and watch your quality.”
The way that the automotive industry watch their quality is in mixing recycled plastics with new materials. A new car’s bumper fascia, for example, might contain as much as 20% recycled plastic.