General Motors’ eco-friendly innovation continues. Today, the automaker announced that it will repurpose 100 miles of oil-soaked plastic boom used during the Gulf oil spill into plastic parts for the Chevy Volt. The Volt is an innovative vehicle, but the use of repurposed oil booms takes the vehicle to the next level.
The oil spill devastated portions of the Gulf Coast and plastic booms were used to help soak up the oil and mitigate damage to coastal areas. GM will be using about 100 miles of boom from the Alabama and Louisiana coasts to create under hood parts for its Volt. The company expects there will be enough boom to create a full year’s supply of Volt parts.
“Creative recycling is one extension of GM’s overall strategy to reduce its environmental impact,” said Mike Robinson, GM's vice president of environment, energy and safety policy. “We reuse and recycle material byproducts at our 76 landfill-free facilities every day. This is a good example of using this expertise and applying it to a greater magnitude.” Source: GM
More than 100,000 pounds of plastic resin will be created by recycling this boom, which means that there will be 100,000 fewer pounds of waste from the Gulf oil spill. The recycling process involved several steps including the removal of oil and wastewater from the collected booms, preparing the plastics for die-mold production and ultimately creating the components. GM worked with several companies during this multi-step process including Heritage Environmental, Mobile Fluid Recovery, Lucent Polymers and GDC Inc.
The use of booms from the Gulf oil spill is just the latest step GM has taken towards meeting its company-wide waste reduction goals. Earlier this month, GM announced that 52 percent of its global facilities have achieved landfill-free status. In other words, 100 percent of waste from these facilities is recycled, reused or otherwise diverted from area landfills.
As General Motors emerges from its near collapse, the company is keeping the environment in mind. From its zero waste goals to eco-friendly vehicles like the Chevy Volt, GM is keeping its eye on eco-friendly innovation.
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