At first glance, McDonald's and Ford have nothing to do with each other. Nevertheless, the companies work together for the development of car parts. The fast food chain and car manufacturer see opportunities for the use of materials that contain dried coffee cherry pulp.

By mixing the dried coffee cherry pulp with plastic and other additives, it can serve as the basic material for things like the headlight housing. In addition, Ford states that there are also conceivable applications under the hood and in the interior.

The material is said to be around 20 percent lighter than conventional plastics. Moreover, casting would require around 25 percent less energy. As part of the agreement, McDonald's will deliver a large proportion of the dried coffee cherry pulp to Ford. It is not known what quantity it is.

The material containing dried coffee cherry pulp is said to be 20 percent lighter. (Photo: Ford)

Up to 40 percent virgin wool in upholstery

The use of sustainable materials in new cars seems to be gaining popularity anyway. In developing the electric i3, BMW moved away from petroleum-based plastics in favor of the Kenaf fiber crop as much as possible. This plant species is originally from South Asia, but is now grown in several places in the world.

Up to 40 percent new wool is used in the upholstery. This is not only durable, but also keeps the cover cooler than other fabrics in warm weather. The present leather is tanned with the extract of olive leaves. Just like in the case of coffee cherries, a by-product is used again.

During the development of the i3, much attention was paid to making the interior more sustainable. (Photo: BMW)

Old seat belts incorporated in the upholstery

At the presentation of the renewed Renault Zoe, the French brand emphasized the use of a new textile product made from recycled materials. The upholstery of the seats, the dashboard, the door panels and some decorative elements of the Zoe in the Zen or Intens version consist of old safety belts, dust remnants and polyester fibers from recycled PET bottles.

In addition, more and more manufacturers are offering so-called vegan leather. For example, the interior of the Tesla Model 3 has been completely free of animal material since August. This will also be possible with the Porsche Taycan.

What else is possible, Volvo demonstrated in 2018, when it showed a special XC60 in which many parts were replaced by recycled plastic. The center console was constructed from fibers from ship's ropes and recycled fishing nets. The insulation material under the hood was made from old car seats, while the floor mats contained fibers from recycled PET bottles and discarded cotton.

Old seat belts are used in the upholstery fabric of the Zoe. (Photo: Renault)

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