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

Wright Plastic Products buys Tennessee auto supplier Hope Industries

March 4, 2015 3:51 pm ET

Michigan custom injection molder Wright Plastic Products Co. LLC has acquired Tennessee-based automotive supplier Hope Industries Inc., the companies ...    More

Image

Best Places To Work: No. 6, Colors For Plastics

March 4, 2015 12:35 pm ET

Colors For Plastics, which now employs 115 people, started with one man who handled everything.    More

Image

Best Places To Work: No. 7, CMD Corp.

March 4, 2015 12:27 pm ET

There's a lot of innovating going on at the No. 7 company on Plastics News' Best Places to Work ranking.    More

Image

Best Places To Work: No. 9, Team 1 Plastics Inc.

March 4, 2015 12:11 pm ET

One long-standing, often-cited problem in the plastics industry is the shortage of skilled workers. Automotive injection molder Team 1 Plastics Inc....    More

Image

Ineos to combine ABS unit with Styrolution in Americas

March 4, 2015 10:03 am ET

Global materials firm Ineos Group will combine its ABS resin business with its Styrolution unit in the Americas.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events