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GM Recycles Water Bottles for Its SUV Insulation Part

April 15
5:46 AM 2016

American car manufacturer, General Motors (GM), collected its employees' water bottles and recycled them to build its cars' part. By reusing water bottles, the company aims to reduce waste as well as manufacture more sustainable products.

The water bottles, collected from five of GM's facilities in Michigan, will be recycled to be a material to build a noise-reducing fabric insulation. The part will be used to cover its Chevrolet Equinox SUV engine, as the company revealed in a release, published by CSRWire

In addition to using the water bottles to manufacture a part for one of its car models, GM also seizes the opportunity to do community service with the materials. According to the company, the bottles are also being turned into air filtration components and insulation in coats for the homeless community. 

Utilizing waste such as water bottles reflects the company's drive to zero waste. "Recycling is good, but viewing waste as a valuable resource that can be plugged into your operations or products is even better," said GM's global manager of waste reduction, John Bradburn, in a statement. "It's about rethinking the process and finding more sustainable ways to manufacture products and contribute to our communities," he added.

Furthermore, GM mentioned three different ways the company contributed positively to the community with its decision to reuse water bottles. Besides saving energy and reducing waste, the effort also engages a network of companies to process the material which help strengthens the economy. The company also said they donated 24,000 yards of insulation to help the homeless with the same material.

To support building car parts from water bottles, GM collected the waste from its Renaissance Center, Warren Technical Center, and Orion Assembly, Flint Tool and Die, and Flint Engine plants, as reported by Environmental Leader. Other third-party companies involved in the process include Clean Tech Inc. that washes and converts the bottles to flake, Unifi, Inc. which is in charge to recycle the flake into resin, also Palmetto Synthetics to create fibers, and finally William T. Burnett & Co. help processed the fibers into forms of fleece as needed.

This is not the first time GM incorporated recycled content to its product. Tech Times listed GM's Buick Verano's as one of the company's product with recycled materials. The model uses recycled cardboard for its sound-dampening material. For other models, such as Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, the car maker uses plastic caps and other recycled materials to build the vehicle's radiator shrouds. 

GM announced its latest zero waste movement where the company recycled its employees' water bottles to build a part of its Chevrolet Equinox. The material is also processed to help provide coats and sleeping bags for the homeless community.

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