The sustainable cars of the future may be made out of ketchup

Heinz and Ford are collaborating to create bioplastics from tomato peels

Topics: Ketchup, Cars, bioplastic, green transportation, , ,

The Ford automobiles of the future may contain parts made from ketchup’s leftovers, the company announced Tuesday.

The effort is an attempt to find something useful to do with tomato byproduct: the peels, stems and seeds left behind from the 2 million tons of tomatoes that condiment giant Heinz goes through each year. By turning them into bioplastics, Ford explained in a press release, “dried tomato skins could become the wiring brackets in a Ford vehicle or the storage bin a Ford customer uses to hold coins and other small objects.”



“We are delighted that the technology has been validated,” said Vidhu Nagpal, Heinz’s associate director for packaging R&D. “Although we are in the very early stages of research, and many questions remain, we are excited about the possibilities this could produce for both Heinz and Ford, and the advancement of sustainable 100% plant-based plastics.”

The Huffington Post followed up with an unaffiliated expert, who confirmed that the science of turning plant fibers into durable parts is there — but reiterated that a lot of research still needs to be done.

And CNNMoney followed up with Ford, which confirmed that the parts will be available in colors other than red.

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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