Today’s Solutions: September 26, 2021

Your car might soon be getting a caffeine boost, as Ford has recently teamed up with McDonald’s to recycle old coffee waste into car parts.

The automaker will be turning coffee chaff – coffee bean skin that comes off during the roasting process – into the plastic headlamp housing used in some of its cars. In addition to reducing food waste, the effort will make car parts lighter, use less petroleum, and lower CO2 emissions.

Traditionally, Ford uses plastic and talc to make its headlamp housing. The coffee version, however, is way more sustainable because it’s lighter and doesn’t use the talc which, as a mineral, isn’t renewable. Coffee chaff, on the other hand, is widely available and much of it ends up in landfills.

Ford hopes that eventually it will incorporate the material into more cars and use it for more parts, and it will also seek to work together with other companies to promote the circular economy.

This story was one of the best from 2019, and we are happy to include it in our “12 Days of Optimism” as we welcome in the new year!

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