Encouraging article in in the New York Times this month, discussing how the automotive industry is moving toward a new definition of what connotes luxury. With a throwback lead-in about the Chrysler Cordoba of the 1970s, the story talks about how using materials which produce the least environmental impact is what the OEMs (car manufacturers) see as the way to excite customers. Seats made from recycled water bottles or tree fiber are the new version of “rich Corinthian leather”.
The OEMs are slowly turning away from materials such as leather, which is hard to recycle. And they are moving toward using recycled or sustainable components to reduce resources and emissions. With the plague of single-use plastics destroying our environment, it is encouraging to see Audi using recycled PET bottles to create yarn for a new type of seat material. Or GM using PET bottles to create wheel well liners and license plate brackets. Or Polestar’s goal of having all of its interior materials be made from sources that include recycled PET bottles. Ultimately the best solution is to stop creating so much waste from single-use plastics, but it is good to see some of the present waste steam being diverted away from landfills and the power plants which burn garbage.
The article is behind the NYT’s paywall, but check it out if you have the access.