Ford to use McDonald’s coffee waste in car parts

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In Michigan, Ford will use McDonald’s coffee waste to generate auto parts, beginning with headlamp housing.

The automaker will specifically use the beans’ dried skin, known as chaff, which separates from the rest of the bean during the roasting process. The chaff is mixed with plastic and other additives to form a material that has the physical characteristics needed for use in a number of interior and “under the hood” parts. The new material also can help lightweight vehicles, reducing fuel consumption.

“Like McDonald’s, Ford is committed to minimizing waste and we’re always looking for innovative ways to further that goal,” said Ian Olson, senior director, global sustainability, McDonald’s. “By finding a way to use coffee chaff as a resource, we are elevating how companies together can increase participation in the closed-loop economy.”

Both companies are actively working to source more renewable and recycled content in their products.