DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes unit is pushing its use of recycled materials with its new A-Class vehicles, using recycled resin in 21 percent of its plastic parts.
The vehicle, introduced Sept. 10 at the German-American automaker's Stuttgart headquarters, was built with ``design for environment'' principles in mind, the company stated.
``Only materials boasting low consumption of resources, outstanding recycling properties, a minimal energy requirement and low emissions in their manufacturing, processing and use are permitted in the construction,'' DaimlerChrysler said in a Sept. 15 news release on the car's development.
The European compact uses recycled plastics in 54 different components, with a total weight of nearly 75 pounds. The material comes from post-consumer and scrap plastic.
European carmakers must have 85 percent of their vehicles' weight recyclable by 2006 and 95 percent by 2015. The A-Class already meets the lower standard, DaimlerChrysler executives noted, and is closing in on the higher mark.
In addition to recycled content, Mercedes is using biocomposites extensively.
A front-seat backrest uses flax fibers to reinforce plastics, rather than glass. In all, 26 different components in the car use natural materials.