Recycling waste as one of these factors to make a lasting impact is beneficial in many ways. By doing this you are preventing waste from ending up in landfills where it can take 100’s of years to decompose. Instead, you are giving waste a new chance to get created in something else.
The student team TU/ecomotive shows this by producing cars from waste material! Every year they design a sustainable new car inspired by the contemporary main problems. The team started producing these cars because they saw that humanity created 2.1 tons of waste every year, while, at the same time, there is a shortage in material for production.
These cars come with a lower footprint while they can last as least as long as regular gasoline cars. Next to that, there is another advantage which is that the material won’t rust and fewer chemical materials need to be used to prepare the car.
One of the cars, Noah, is built in a circular way from biological material like sugar. For other cars, also materials like flax and plastic are being used. A layer of plastic is needed to keep the natural product flax together. The optimal situation would be if plastic from the ocean could be used. However, this plastic soup is often a mix of all kinds of plastic.
The outside of some of their cars is made of ABS. Next to that regular residual waste is also being used. For some applications, TU/ecomotive can only use the type of plastic called PET for the interior of cars. Since it is a very common type of plastic, it means the most regular types of plastic can be recycled into parts of a car, which sounds promising!
TU/ecomotive has several partner companies who prepare several parts of the car for them. These companies all have their own specific expertise and are therefore all of interest. To be able to create even more cars, more research has to be done and some elements of the production process need to be automated more.
A very promising idea is that there are already several companies who are interested in the techniques of TU/ecomotive. This is not only for cars themselves but also for other applications like trailers.
We as the GO Green Office, are very happy to see these sustainable ideas in application and development. This approves our trust in the fact that waste is actually being recycled and used again after we separate it in the right way!