Ford and McDonald’s have partnered together to make car parts using recycled coffee chaff. When coffee roasters put beans through a roaster, a papery skin called chaff comes off which, engineers combine with plastic to form a hybrid pellet that can be used in place of traditional petroleum plastic in some car parts.
This new hybrid plastic can be melted and molded, and it’s lighter and less energy-intensive than full petroleum plastic. Ford’s first part for its new coffee plastic is a headlamp housing. According to Ford, the coffee plastic version will be 20 percent lighter compared to the equivalent traditional plastic.
This hybrid coffee plastic is a promising step forward, hopefully, similar developments will follow from other manufacturers.