What Do Coca-Cola Bottles and Ford Seat Material Have in Common?

By Cole Q.

It may be possible that in the future, a Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid owner is going to be driving down the expressway and enjoying a bottle of Coca-Cola. Little will they know that the bottle from which they are drinking and the seat fabric on which they are seated may be distant cousins.

Coca-Cola and Ford Motor Company, two of the largest companies in the world, are working together to create the first-ever interior fabric made from the same renewable material used to produce the Coca-Cola PlantBottle Technology™ packaging.

The Coca-Cola PlantBottle Technology creates plastic beverage bottles that are partially manufactured using plant materials instead of petroleum products. Up to 30 percent of the materials created using this technology will be from renewable sources. To date, Coca-Cola has saved over 400,000 barrels of oil by creating over 18 billion PlantBottles.

A Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid research vehicle was recently outfitted with Coca-Cola PlantBottle Technology interior fabric surfaces covering seat cushions, seat backs, head restraints, door panel inserts and headliner. This research vehicle will be on display later this month at the 2013 LA Auto Show .

Design teams from both companies met to collaborate on sustainable product design techniques. Both companies use PET (polyethylene terephthalate), a durable lightweight plastic, and from there the conversation eventually lead to PlantBottles.

“By using PlantBottle Technology in a plug-in hybrid, Ford and Coca-Cola are showing the broad potential to leverage renewable materials that help replace petroleum and other fossil fuels, reducing the overall environmental impact of future vehicles,” said John Viera, Global Director of Sustainability and Vehicle Environmental Matters at Ford Motor Company.

Incorporating PlantBottle™ technology into the Fusion Hybrid Energi is the latest example of how Ford is committed to creating environmentally-conscious vehicles. Speaking of bottles, did you know that the carpet material in the Ford Escape SUV is made from a couple dozen recycled plastic bottles ?

But using plastic bottles in an unconventional way is certainly not the only thing Ford is doing in order to become more sustainable. From seat cushions made from soybeans , to pioneering the use of recycled denim as a sound insulation material in the Ford Escape and Ford Focus , Ford is constantly breaking new ground on how to incorporate renewable materials into vehicle design. They’re even exploring innovative ways to use coconut fibers for a multitude of different purposes!

Click here to read more about the variety of ways that Ford is going green.

You can even post your own green or sustainable idea by clicking here !