General Motors’ efforts to burnish the Chevrolet Volt’s “clean and green” image have now extended into the oil-soaked waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The maker has been able to recycle the polypropylene plastics used in the oil booms that were set out to contain and capture the oil spilled by a runaway British Petroleum well. In all, about 100 miles of booms were recovered and reused, according to Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Environment, Energy and Safety policy.
GM and its suppliers are turning the re-cycled material into plastic parts used in the Volt, such as a shroud for the radiator, Robinson said.
“Creative recycling is one extension of GM’s overall strategy to reduce its environmental impact,” Robinson said, noting that the maker already finds ways to eliminate landfilling at 76 of its facilities. The recycling of Gulf oil booms, he added, “is a good example of using this expertise and applying it to a greater magnitude.”