Two brand names are working together to better the environment. Ford is using McDonald’s coffee chaff in production of its’ plastic headlamps. Coffee chaff is the skin that comes off during coffee bean roasting.

The chaff will come from McDonald’s suppliers, and according to Ford, a “significant portion” of the chaff will be used by Ford. This is another example of companies’ trying to reduce plastic waste, and increase the use of plant-based materials. Headlamps right now are made with talc and plastic. Talc is a non-renewable resource. Coffee chaff is lighter and removes the need for the talc in the process.

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Because chaff is widely available and often wasted, it’s a sustainable solution for companies, including Ford. The motor company hopes to incorporate it into other processes. The company has been working on sustainability initiatives, and wondered if there would be a use for coffee in any of its parts. Coffee and its byproducts are widely available and much of it is wasted.

In a Ford press release, Debbie Mielewski, said of the collaboration, “McDonald’s commitment to innovation was impressive to us and matched our own forward-thinking vision and action for sustainability. This has been a priority for Ford for over 20 years, and this is an example of jump starting the closed-loop economy, where different industries work together and exchange materials that otherwise would be side or waste products.”

Read more about innovative ways waste is being used around the world below, including Mexico, India, Los Angeles and South Africa using plastic waste to construct roads, cities turning food waste into fuel, and have a look at this island that is entirely made from plastic waste and floats on recycled bottles!

There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using  mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads

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To learn more about the impact of plastic waste, please read the articles below: 

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