General Motors has devised a way to “creatively recycle” oil-soaked plastic boom material from the BP oil spill. The material, salvaged from the Gulf of Mexico, has been re-purposed for auto parts used in the Chevrolet Volt.
“Creative recycling is one extension of GM’s overall strategy to reduce its environmental impact,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Environment, Energy and Safety policy. “We reuse and recycle material by-products at our 76 landfill-free facilities every day. This is a good example of using this expertise and applying it to a greater magnitude.”
If GM didn’t devise a method to convert the 100 miles of material, it would have likely wound up in landfills. Luckily, the material is much better suited going into the all-new Volt. The parts used with this material deflect air around the Volt’s radiator and are comprised of 25 percent boom material and 25 percent recycled tires, and the remaining is a mixture of post-consumer recycled plastics and other polymers.
“This was purely a matter of helping out,” said John Bradburn, manager of GM’s waste-reduction efforts. “If sent to a landfill, these materials would have taken hundreds of years to begin to break down, and we didn’t want to see the spill further impact the environment. We knew we could identify a beneficial reuse of this material given our experience.”
The Chevy Volt was recently awarded Green Car of the Year by Green Car Journal, so it seems appropriate that the extended-range EV is built with recycled and/or renewable materials. For more information on this incredible process, see the video below.
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