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  • 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.

Every year,

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B2 mcdonald waste material mixed shipped molding

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

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/26
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