|Volvo Cars has announced that, from 2025 onwards, at least 25% of the plastics used in every newly launched Volvo car will be made from recycled material. The company has also urged auto industry suppliers to work closely with car-makers to develop next-gen components that are as sustainable as possible, especially with regards to containing more recycled plastics.|
To demonstrate the viability of this ambition, the company has unveiled a specially-built version of its 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.
“Environmental care is one of Volvo’s core values and we will continue to find new ways to bring this into our business,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. “This car and our recycled plastics ambition are further examples of that commitment.”
The special XC60’s interior has a tunnel console made from renewable fibres and plastics from discarded fishing nets and maritime ropes. The carpet contains fibres made from PET plastic bottles and a recycled cotton mix from clothing manufacturers’ offcuts. The seats also use PET fibres from plastic bottles. Used car seats from old Volvo cars were used to create the sound-absorbing material under the bonnet.
“We already work with some great, forward-thinking suppliers when it comes to sustainability,” said Martina Buchhauser, senior vice-president of Global Procurement at Volvo Cars. “However, we do need increased availability of recycled plastics if we are to make our ambition a reality. That is why we call on even more suppliers and new partners to join us.”
The recycled-plastics XC60 was revealed at the Ocean Summit during the Gothenburg Volvo Ocean Race stopover. The race’s focus on sustainability centres on a partnership with the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign, focusing on the call to action, ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’.
Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, said, “Volvo’s move to integrate plastic waste into the design of their next fleet of cars sets a new benchmark that we hope others in the car industry will follow.”
Last month, Volvo Cars had committed to eradicate single-use plastics across all its premises and events by the end of 2019. The company aims to have climate-neutral manufacturing by 2025. In January this year, the engine plant in Skövde, Sweden, became its first climate-neutral facility.