Beginning in 2025, at least 25% of the plastics used in every new Volvo will be made from recycled material, the company says. The topic of plastics waste has been a prominent theme in the news in recent weeks, with this year’s World Environment Day focusing on “beating plastics pollution.”
To reach its new goal, Volvo needs an increased availability of recycled plastics, according to the company. “That is why we call on even more suppliers and new partners to join us in investing in recycled plastics and to help us realize our ambition,” says Martina Buchhauser, senior VP of global procurement at Volvo Cars.
The company urges auto industry suppliers to work more closely with car makers to develop components that are more sustainable, especially regarding recycled plastics.
Volvo Prototype Vehicle
To illustrate its commitment to the goal, Volvo created a specially-built version of its XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid that looks identical to the existing model but has had several of its plastic components replaced with equivalents containing recycled materials:
- The tunnel console is made from renewable fibres and plastics from discarded fishing nets and maritime ropes.
- The carpet contains fibers made from PET plastic bottles and a recycled cotton mix from clothing manufacturers’ offcuts.
- The seats use PET fibers from plastic bottles.
- Sound-absorbing material under the hood is made from used car seats from old Volvo cars.
‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’
The recycled-plastics XC60 was unveiled during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Gothenburg. The race – a yacht race around the world held every three years – focuses this year on sustainability, centering on a partnership with the UN’s Environment Clean Seas campaign that urges the world to ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic.’
The Clean Seas campaign, launched in 2017, is meant to raise awareness of what plastic waste is doing to oceans and wildlife.
A similar campaign, Beat Plastics Pollution, was the theme of this year’s World Environment Day. The UN points out that the world generates 300 million metric tons of plastic waste per year, and that half of all plastics produced are meant for single-use consumption before being thrown away.
Last month, Volvo Cars committed to eradicate single-use plastics across all its premises and events by the end of 2019.
Pictured: The Volvo XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid SUV that looks identical to the existing model, but has had several of its plastic components replaced with equivalents containing recycled materials.