Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: GM Press | posted April 14, 2016 08:24
Recycled water bottles to be used as engine noise-insulation
General Motors is doing their part in being greener and more environmentally friendly by collecting water bottles from all of its five facilities in Michigan for reprocessing as ‘noise-reducing fabric insulation that covers the Chevrolet Equinox engine.’
The program called ‘Do Your Part’ also turns these water bottles into air filtration components and insulation in coats that can also transform into sleeping bags for the homeless community.
“Recycling is good, but viewing waste as a valuable resource that can be plugged into your operations or products is even better. It’s about rethinking the process and finding more sustainable ways to manufacture products and contribute to our communities,” said John Bradburn, GM global manager of waste reduction.
The impact of this program goes beyond the simple act of recycling plastic water bottles. GM’s has made its business partners involved in the process to enhance its socio-economic impact.
“Many of today’s businesses are challenging the take-make-dispose model and seeing the benefits of a more circular economy. From closed-loop recycling to helping launch material reuse networks, GM is thinking differently and getting other companies to join in,” said Andrew Mangan, executive director of the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Each of GM’s partners bring their own specific expertise to the program - Hamtramck Recycling bails the plastic bottles collected from GM’s world headquarters while Warren Technical Center, and Orion Assembly, Flint Tool and Die, and Flint Engine plants. Clean Tech Inc. washes the bottles and converts them to flake.
Unifi, Inc. is responsible for recycling the bottle flake into resin before Palmetto Synthetics processes the resin to create fibers and William T. Burnett & Co. processes the fibers into various forms of fleece.
Rogers Foam Corp. die then cuts the fleece while EXO-s attaches it into the nylon cover for the Chevrolet Equinox V6 engine in order to reduce the engine noise.
Aside from water bottles, GM has recycled various other materials including cardboard, plastic caps and test tires for use in different parts and components of GM and Chevy vehicles.