Ford Motor Company, HellermannTyton, and DSM have earned an Innovation Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) for the use of DSM’s Akulon RePurposed recycled ocean plastic in the Ford Bronco Sport.
The Akulon RePurposed material is made from ghost fishing gear - discarded nylon fishing nets collected , in this case, from the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. In the Ford Bronco, the material is used to produce wiring harness clips. These clips fasten to the sides of the Bronco Sport second-row seats and guide wires that power various features in the vehicle’s cargo area.
The use of a nylon material that is derived from ghost gear ‘is a strong example of circular economy, and while these clips are small, they are an important first step in our explorations to use recycled ocean plastics for additional parts in the future’, said Jim Buczkowski, vice president of research and Henry Ford technical fellow.
To create the material, the nets are thoroughly cleaned and processed using a proprietary process to produce a strong polyamide 6 (PA6) engineering material. Tests conducted by Ford have shown that the Akulon RePurposed material, despite having spent time in salt water and sunlight, is as strong and durable as petroleum-based clips.
The material is already being used in a wide range of applications including furniture, watches, and surf boards, with additional applications currently under development.Maintaining profitability while operating within planetary boundaries is no easy task, noted the company. To achieve its goals, L’Oréal aims to use 100% renewable energy and achieve carbon neutrality across all of its sites by 2025. By 2030, the company aims to replace 100% of plastic packaging with either recycled or bio-based sources and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of every finished product by 50%.
“Solving the global challenge of ocean plastics will require our entire industry to step up and find innovative solutions to grow the circular economy,” said Lydia Swan, Commercial Director – Americas, DSM Engineering Materials. “We are very proud of the joint efforts of our team, Ford, and HellermanTyton to make this innovative use of recycled ocean plastics possible, and we look forward to finding additional opportunities to reduce ocean plastic waste.”