The praise worthy business plan move comes at a time when more than 8 million tonnes of plastics lands up in our oceans every year, and threatens marine life ranging from coral reefs to fish stocks.
On Monday, Chinese-owned Volvo disclosed all of its 2025 models will feature at least 25% recyclable plastic as part of an anti-pollution measure. The move has come for some praise by the United Nations.
According to Stuart Templar, director for sustainability at Volvo Cars, recycled plastics, including those from old PET bottles in car dashboards, fishing nets or carpets, would not affect safety or quality.
“We think this makes business sense,” said Templar.
As a means to tackle growing plastic pollution, many of the world’s biggest companies are designing products that can be recycled after use. Volvo’s plan goes a step further since it plans on increasing the scope of recycled materials into its production lines.
“Volvo Cars is committed to minimizing its global environmental footprint,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars.
Volvo Cars is owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd.
In a statement Volvo said, it was in talks with plastics producers to achieve its “ambition that from 2025, at least 25 percent of the plastics used in every newly launched Volvo car will be made from recycled material.”
In 2017, Volvo sold 570,000 cars with around 5% of the plastics in its cars made from recycled materials.
In Volvo’s XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid SUV, which it unveiled in Gothenburg, Sweden, the carmaker said some of the plastics parts came from recycled materials. The carpet in the car came from fibres from PET plastic bottles, recycled fishing nets and ropes were used in the tunnel console, the area between the passenger and driver seats, while old Volvo car seats were reused as sound-absorbing material and were placed under the bonnet.
“As far as we are aware this is a first – an attempt to source waste as a raw material for a new vehicle,” said Erik Solheim, head of the U.N. Environment Programme in Nairobi. “We need to see a situation in which plastic waste begins to have more value and the processes to transform it into something new will also advance”.
More than 8 million tonnes of plastics lands up in our oceans every year, and threatens marine life ranging from coral reefs to fish stocks.