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 Materials, Suppliers, Sustainability, Automotive

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

Delphi buying connector maker Antaya

September 22, 2014 2:25 pm ET

Delphi Automotive plc will buy Antaya Technologies Corp., a Rhode Island company that supplies wire harnesses and other technologies that connect...    More

Image

The milk man will be toting plastic bottles to UK homes in the future

September 22, 2014 11:17 am ET

The United Kingdom's largest dairy company is about to replace its final glass bottles with plastic.    More

Image

Poland's Boryszew to work with Mitsui on lightweight auto parts

September 22, 2014 10:12 am ET

European plastics car parts maker Boryszew Group has signed a letter of intent to work with the Japanese investment and trading conglomerate Mitsui & ...    More

Image

Dunkin' Donuts looking at PP to replace foam cups

September 19, 2014 3:22 pm ET

Dunkin' Donuts is testing a new polypropylene coffee cup that the company believes could help boost recycling.    More

Image

Plasan investing in capacity, jobs to supply auto market with carbon fiber

September 19, 2014 3:05 pm ET

Growth in the emerging automotive market for carbon-fiber composites has spurred a $29 million investment in a Walker, Mich., factory    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

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

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events