Study: Plastics' light weight worth potential environmental impacts

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: October 17, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Sustainability, Materials, Suppliers

WASHINGTON (Oct. 17, 3:30 p.m. ET) — The American Chemistry Council is touting the results of a life-cycle analysis that shows lighter-weight plastic auto parts not only save fuel, but those fuel savings easily outweigh any impacts from producing those parts.

The ACC’s Plastics Division used two parts already in production — a front support bolster on Ford Motor Co.’s 2010 Taurus sedan and the running board on General Motors Co.’s 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer and GMC.

The Taurus bolster was 46 percent lighter than a plastic and steel bolster in the same car, while the running board was a 51 percent weight improvement over a steel running board, the group noted in an Oct. 16 press release.

PE International Inc. of Boulder, Colo., considered the environmental impacts of the bolster and running board in each stage of the product’s life cycle, including energy used during their production, product manufacturing impacts, product use and end-of-life treatment of the parts.

The study showed that lightweighting the running board would reduce energy use by 2.7 million gallons of gasoline over the life of the vehicle, while reducing the weight of an all-plastic bolster would reduce energy use by 770,000 gallons.

As a result, both parts have lower net environmental impacts over their full life cycles than previous metal components, ACC officials said.


Comments

Study: Plastics' light weight worth potential environmental impacts

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: October 17, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

North American robot sales set record

July 30, 2014 4:46 pm ET

The North American robotics sector is off to its fastest start ever, shattering last year's first-half record, with a first-half 2014 of 14,135...    More

Image

DC banning PS foam containers

July 30, 2014 2:34 pm ET

Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gra signed into law on July 29 a bill that will ban polystyrene foam food and drink containers from the District.    More

Image

Sainsbury, Schoeller Allibert to recycle food handling crates

July 30, 2014 1:37 pm ET

British retail group Sainsbury's has contracted Dutch recycler Schoeller Allibert BV to reprocess all of its old food crates back into food-grade...    More

Image

Styrolution will open new production late 2014

July 30, 2014 12:54 pm ET

Germany-based styrenic materials group, Styrolution, has announced it is expanding its facility in Ludwigshafen, Germany.    More

Image

UMass Lowell hosts collaborative research meeting for future projects

July 30, 2014 11:54 am ET

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell recently hosted a seminar, which was billed as a collaborative research meeting between Dow Chemical Co., th...    More

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events