How Ford Makes Car Parts From Used McDonald’s Coffee Beans

How Ford Makes Car Parts From Used McDonald’s Coffee Beans


Every year, McDonald’s produces more
than 62 million pounds of coffee chaff. That’s the unused dried skin
that comes off of coffee beans during the roasting process. And that 62 million pounds used
to go straight to landfills. But now, Ford is taking
that chaff from McDonald’s and turning it into car parts. Almost 140 million tons of solid waste was sent to US landfills in 2017. And when that waste hits a landfill, it creates a pile of trash that
is impossible to take back. And incinerating the waste
creates carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-gas emissions that are harmful to the environment. But some materials don’t
have to end up in landfills, like coffee chaff. McDonald’s partnered with
Ford’s research team, which was already using
agave, wheat, tomatoes, and even denim byproducts
to make car parts. The team discovered that
chaff could also be used to make car parts, especially ones that need to
withstand high temperatures, like headlights and car battery covers. When the coffee chaff is
heated to high temperatures and mixed with plastic
and other additives, it turns into a material
that can be formed into various shapes. Not only will less waste go to landfills, but using the chaff actually
benefits Ford vehicles. Its headlights were made
up of plastic and talc, a mineral that has to be mined. But now, the coffee chaff
replaces some of the talc, making the car part 20% lighter. Molding the coffee chaff
also uses 25% less energy than the previous material combination. The chaff component meets all durability and performance requirements, and it can withstand high temperatures much better than talc. So, how is Ford turning coffee
bean skins into headlights? It all starts where the coffee beans are grown – South America. The beans are collected and
then shipped to the roasters. When the roasters roast the
beans, the skin comes off. The coffee chaff is collected and shipped to Competitive Green Technologies, a biotechnology company
in Ontario, Canada. This is where the coffee
chaff and plastic are mixed. The mixed material is then shipped to a company called Varroc, which molds and assembles the headlights. The company uses a process
called injection molding. Pellets made from plastic and chaff are combined in the machine. The material is heated and mixed, then shot into a mold and placed under pressure that
forms the shape of the part. Each headlight takes 30
to 60 seconds to form. The final step is to ship
the headlights to Ford, where they get added to the cars. Ford began installing the headlights in its Lincoln Continental
cars in December 2019. Other model cars are expected to follow. But this doesn’t eliminate the environmental problem entirely. At the end of a car’s life, some parts will still end up in landfills since they’re still made out of plastic. Ford and McDonald’s plan
to reduce that waste by substituting traditional
plastic with recycled plastic. And Ford hopes to have 100% recycled and sustainable plastic
on its vehicles by 2035. The sustainability
efforts don’t stop there. Ford is also looking into using other McDonald’s waste products, like orange and potato peels. So who knows… Maybe one day, we’ll be driving cars made completely from fast-food waste.

47 thoughts on “How Ford Makes Car Parts From Used McDonald’s Coffee Beans

  1. Just speak normally please, the over the top melodramatic tone is overbearing…
    Your over-narrating, similiar to over acting.
    Come back down to Earth, please.

  2. First you think: oh good recycling, good for nature!
    Then you realize it's used for a CAR which literally pumps Co2 in the air

  3. Organized-crime General Motors stole trillions from taxpayers and murdered a ton of drivers with faulty ignitions, and all they’re showing for it is mixing a little bit of coffee chaff into plastic.

  4. This is something I’ve been saying should happen🙌🏾🙌🏾glad some brands are using recycled matter to produce new goods. 💯

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