General Motors is turning its employees’ recycled water bottles into a new life producing a noise-reducing fabric insulation that covers the Chevrolet Equinox engine.
The bottles, collected from five of its Michigan facilities, are also being turned into air filtration components and insulation in coats for the homeless community.
Given its drive to zero waste, all of GM’s global facilities recycle their water bottles. However, the bottles collected at the five locations are now funneled into its “Do Your Part” project, where 11 businesses collaborate to give them a second life.
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The air filtration components are used in GM facilities to protect air quality; and the insulation goes into Empowerment Plan coats that transform into sleeping bags.
GM demonstrates how a supply chain can become a supply web where business opportunities stem from an original project, furthering the mission and driving more social and economic impact.
Each partner engaged in this initiative brings specific capabilities.
Hamtramck Recycling bails the plastic bottles collected from GM’s world headquarters at the Renaissance Center, 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. recycles the bottle flake into resin.
GM uses recycled content in many of its vehicles.
Cardboard from various GM plants is recycled into a sound-dampening material in the Buick Verano headliner; plastic caps and shipping aids from its Fort Wayne facility are mixed with other materials to make radiator shrouds for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra; and test tires from Milford Proving Ground are shredded and used in the manufacturing of air and water baffles for a variety of GM cars.
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