Plastic is a problem for life to exist, and it will get worse in coming years – so much, that at this pace of plastic waste being dumped, we might not see anything but plastic dump around the oceans. In the wake of this serious problem, companies are trying to contribute in tackling the plastic problem – jumping into the bandwagon, Volvo has made an impressive plastic recycling promise to the world.
Pollution and smoke aside, the new problem that is suffocating the world is plastic and everyone knows it, yet, we aren’t doing enough to stop making it worse if not resolve it. With billions of tons of plastic wasted dumped into the ocean, on land and pretty much everywhere each year, the world will be a plastic planet by next century. Addressing this problem, a number of global companies are trying to do their little bits that will contribute in making the world less burdened with plastic, and their products a bit greener. However, Swedish luxury automobile manufacturer Volvo is planning to make dramatic changes to increase the green credentials of their fancy cars with a promise to use 25% recycled plastic by 2025.
A typical Volvo car, or pretty much any car uses about 332 pounds of plastics – which is a huge chunk of plastic being used in every single car ever made. With the new plan, Volvo will be using at least a quarter of recycled plastic in every newly-launched car after 2025 – that is a dramatically huge goal. To achieve this ambitious goal, the company will have to replace virgin plastic with recycled plastic in the cars’ cabins or elsewhere – without compromising with quality. The challenge here will make changes at root level in the company as it will have to bring suppliers who can provide the minimum standards of materials that Volvo wants to use – which means, a change in t its supply-chain of fabric, trim, and other components.
To showcase how the ambitious and goodwill target can be met, Volvo has developed a special version of the Volvo XC60 SUV – which looks the same, but it is much greener. For example, the seats use PET fibres from plastic bottles instead of virgin plastic foam fibres. The carpets in the car uses more of those fibres, along with a recycled cotton mix that Volvo sourced from offcuts supplied by clothing manufacturers. The tunnel console uses fibres and plastics from old fishing nets and maritime ropes that were recycled, and the car seats are reused from its older vehicles to make sound-absorbing insulation for under the hood – giving purpose to its own plastic parts. Despite so many changes and being made from so much trash, the environment-friendly version of XC60 is indistinguishable from its regular production counterpart.
This is an aggressive promise and an impressive commitment, possibly one of the strongest one made for environment by any automobile manufacturer ever. Imagine if all companies and all people cut off at least quarter or their plastic usage, or they replace it with recycled/biodegradable plastic – it can be a change worth making the effort, because it isn’t about making the world a “better place”, now it is about survival and existence. Way to go Volvo.