How does a plastic bottle turn into a car?
No, not like that. Like this.
That would be the Volvo XC60 – and by 2025, Volvo is committing to using recycled plastics (like bottles) for 25 percent of all the plastic in each new car it makes. But in 2018 (as in now), Volvo did show off a demo XC60, using recycled materials, just to show how that would work.
In THAT Volvo, seats from old Volvos were turned into sound insulation for the new car – the inside of the car uses plastics and fibers that were originally old fishing nets and ropes – and the carpet, as well as the new seats in the car use – yep, recycled bottles (a type of plastic called PET, or polyethylene terephthalate).
PET plastic is used for water bottles, and other drinks because it’s strong (it will hold what you put in it), it’s lightweight (nice, if you’re carrying your water bottle around with you), it doesn’t react with what’s in it (so what you drink will only taste like what you’re drinking – not “bottle taste”), and, if you drop it, unlike a glass bottle, it doesn’t shatter (in fact, normally it won’t break at all, just roll around a bit).
All that makes PET an excellent choice of material for water bottles. And you can reuse your PET water bottle again, and again and again.
But – when you and your water bottle are ready to part ways – PET plastics are also easy to recycle, and that same plastic can be used again and again and again. And it turns out, you can use them to make all sorts of things, in addition to new water bottles. Even new cars.
(And thanks to Volvo – for showing us yet another smart, environmentally-friendly way to use, and reuse plastic.)