Ford Gets Serious about Car Recycling

2010 Ford Explorer interior

What consumer item do you think is recycled more than any other in the U.S.? Did you guess plastic soda bottles? Or maybe newspapers? You might be surprised to learn that the most recycled item in the U.S. is… cars!

At Ford Motor Company, we’re serious about car recycling. About 85% of all of our vehicles are recyclable and we are actively working to raise that number to as close to 100% as possible.

Car Recycling Starts with Scrap Iron and Steel

Re-use is a big part of the car recycling story. Auto recyclers supply more than a third of all iron scrap to the U.S. scrap processing industry. When manufacturers use scrap iron and steel instead of virgin ore, they reduce air and water pollution by more than half during the manufacturing process.

In 2009, Ford saved approximately $4.5 million by using recycled materials, and diverted between 25 and 30 million pounds of plastic from landfills in North America alone.

Incorporating Recycled Plastics into Cars

Not only that, Ford also incorporates recycled plastics in its vehicles interiors. The Ford Escape and Escape Hybrid seats, for example, are upholstered in fabric made from recycled plastic products, such as soda bottles, and post-industrial yarns.

The Ford car recycling program and its “reduce, reuse and recycle” commitments are part of the company’s broader global sustainability strategy to reduce its environmental footprint while accelerating the development of advanced fuel-efficient vehicle technologies around the world.