MOSCOW, June 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Auto-maker Ford will team up with ketchup producer Heinz to study how tomato fibers can be used in car production, Reuters reported.
Ford plans to put to use dried tomato skins left from ketchup production in composite materials for vehicles. Plant-based plastic is a lot less harmful for the environment than materials made from refined petroleum products.
“We're trying to make us of by-product, and get some renewable and recycle content into vehicles, while at the same time reducing the weight,” Ellen Lee, a research specialist at Ford Plastics, told Reuters.
Lee noted that unattractive appearance of new materials meant it could be used mostly for hidden parts, but the ultimate aim was to make the product more appealing to the eye in the future.
Ford started cooperating with Heinz, Coca-Cola, Nike and Procter&Gamble in the sphere of developing plant-based plastics about two years. Lee noted that specialists are also looking at the possibility of producing new materials not only from tomatoes, but also from coconuts, the hard covering on grains of rice, dandelion roots and even trees.