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Ford Considers Making Car Components Out Of Recycled Money

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On: Tue, May 8, 2012 at 12:35PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford Considers Making Car Components Out Of Recycled Money

Cars made out of money may sound too ostentatious for even a rap video, but Ford has some truer intentions than first impressions may give. The automaker said this month that it's looking into using recycled US currency in certain vehicle components.

Why recycled money? We conclude mostly because it makes a helluva publicity stunt. Not only can Ford play the green (in more ways than one) card, but it gets a rather unique, headline-making story that's about quirky enough for the front page of Yahoo! News.

Of course, Ford wouldn't tell you that. What it would tell you is that it wants to replace some petroleum-based components (think of that plastic in the interior of an average car) with something more sustainable – and recycled money is one of the options it's throwing out there to make news considering using.

You see, according to Ford, 8,000 to 10,000 lbs. of out-of-circulation paper currency is shredded every day. That's about 3.6 million pounds of material that's currently being burned or thrown into landfills each year. Ford believes that it could repurpose some of that old currency into replacing petroleum-based components on its cars and is testing the material for use on interior trays and bins.

While we'll remain skeptical of Ford's dubious intentions regarding recycled dollar bills, it has started to put its money (not that money) where its mouth is in terms of using other sustainable materials. It's already using things like repurposed cotton from blue jeans for noise-dampening insulation and dashboard material. It also mentions recycled plastic bottles and wheat straw. So maybe recycled Benjamins isn't that strange after all.

"Building vehicles with great fuel economy is our highest priority in reducing our environmental impact," said Carrie Majeske, Ford’s Product Sustainability manager. "We recognize the use of sustainable materials inside our cars, utilities and trucks can also help reduce our environmental impact. These are steps that are not only better for our planet in the long run but are cost-effective as well."

Of course, Ford's sustainable materials program isn't entirely environmental benevolence. With the price for a barrel of oil as high as $109.77 of late, Ford is desperately looking for ways to cut ties with petroleum (at least in terms of its out-of-pocket costs).

Ford is working with partners like chemical companies and universities in researching and testing sustainable materials.


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