Turning Coffee into Car Parts

It’s the most unlikely pair you can imagine, Ford and McDonald’s are teaming up to make vehicle parts lighter and more sustainable. In an effort to reduce waste, the automaker is using old residue from coffee beans to make light housing for the Lincoln Continental.

So… how does this work exactly? Well, it begins with McDonald’s saving the remnants of coffee beans, then the old beans are sent to Ford where they are then turned into composite material that is used for the light housing on headlights and/or taillights on their new vehicles. According to McDonald’s, a “big portion” of it’s used coffee beans will be donated to Ford. In an effort to increase sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint, both Ford and McDonald’s are committed to the cause. 

This level of innovation has the potential to significantly reduce waste and may also inspire other automotive manufacturers to do the same. According to Debbie Mielewski Ford’s senior technical leader in sustainability and emerging materials research, “This has been a priority for Ford for over 20 years, and this is an example of jump-starting the closed-loop economy, where different industries work together and exchange materials that otherwise would be side or waste products.”

 

Ford is notorious for using sustainable products to build and produce automobiles (plants, shredded money, and even tomatoes! Their deal with McDonald’s is surely one of their greatest strides yet. In the future, there is expected to me many more innovations in sustainability with Ford and many other automotive companies.