See the Recyclable Materials Auto Makers Use to Make Cars Environmentally Friendly

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See the Recyclable Materials Auto Makers Use to Make Cars Environmentally Friendly

Besides its use of electricity, the Chevrolet Volt is a green choice because its air deflectors’ components include oil-soaked booms from the Deepwater Horizon spill that would otherwise have gone into landfills. Photograph: GM/John F. Martin

This sound dampening material is made from recycled cardboard. Photograph: General Motors

These metal shavings will be re-used to make new car parts. Photograph: GM/Jeffrey Sauger

General Motors’ global manager of waste reduction, John Bradburn, holds a piece of car insulation and the material used to make it. Photograph: Santa Fabio

The plastic of these caps has multiple uses in shipping and manufacturing pickup trucks. Photograph: Wieck

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See the recyclable materials auto makers use to make cars environmentally friendly
Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - 2:40pm

CAMPAIGN: GM Greener Vehicles

CONTENT: Article

If you put the waste that General Motors recycles annually into the beds of 6.8m extended-cab Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks and parked them end to end, they would stretch around the world. 

Many of these materials – such as plastic bottles, cardboard, denim fibers, carpets and tires – are made into components for GM’s cars, trucks and crossovers. Each material meets or exceeds the automaker’s strict product quality and durability requirements.

Is your vehicle is contributing to a more circular economy? Here are some examples of how recycled content is incorporated into cars and trucks on the road today.

Deflecting waste as well as air

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 was the worst offshore spill in US history. GM wanted to help mitigate the disaster’s secondary environmental impact, so it developed a method to convert 227 miles of oil-soaked booms into air deflectors for the Chevrolet Volt. With recycled deflectors in each car built in 2011 and 2012, GM prevented 212,500 pounds of waste from entering landfills.

These air deflectors comprise 25% boom material, 25% recycled tires from GM’s Milford Proving Ground vehicle test facility and 25% packaging plastic from GM’s Fort Wayne assembly plant, as seen above. The remaining 25% is a mixture of post-consumer recycled plastics and other polymers.

GM continues to shred and use its test tires and packaging plastic in the manufacturing of air and water baffles for a variety of vehicles.

Quiet with cardboard

Cardboard shipping materials from various GM plants are recycled into a sound-dampening material, pictured above, used in the Buick Verano’s headliner to help keep the cabin quiet. This is an example of closed-loop recycling in which GM keeps its own materials in use, bringing greater efficiency to its manufacturing operations.

Close shave with the landfill

Scrap aluminum shavings, shown above, from machining transmission casings are melted down and used to create more casings. This process saves money while also contributing to its facilities’ landfill-free status.

Bottling up noise

Water bottles from five GM facilities in Michigan get a second life as fleece-like material used in the Chevrolet Equinox. Seven bottles are needed to make enough fabric insulation to soften the noise of the crossover’s V6 engine.

Cap it all off

Plastic caps and shipping aids from GM’s Fort Wayne assembly plant in Indiana are mixed with other materials to make radiator shrouds for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks. The materials’ first use is as protection for car and truck parts while they are being transported to the plant. Once installed in the vehicle, they help direct air through the radiator to keep it cool.

Reposted from with permission. 

Keywords: Environment | GM | General Motors | Recycling | Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | Responsible Production & Consumption | The Guardian | circular economy

CAMPAIGN: GM Greener Vehicles

CONTENT: Article