Tomatoes as Car Parts? Heinz, Ford Team Up

Idea is to recycle skins, stems into plastic

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 10, 2014 4:26 PM CDT

(Newser) – Two statements you wouldn't think would be connected: 1) Heinz ends up with a lot of extra tomato parts after making ketchup. 2) Ford Motor Co. needs a lot of material for car parts. The two companies announced today that they're teaming up to try to turn all those tomato skins, seeds, and stems into, yes, auto parts, reports UPI. Think dried skins used for wiring brackets or for the little bins that hold coins, reports the Wall Street Journal.

"Our goal is to develop a strong, lightweight material that meets our vehicle requirements, while at the same time reducing our overall environmental impact," says a Ford research specialist. Both companies already are dabbling in the growing field of using plant-based products in ways the plants never imagined, notes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Heinz, for example, partnered with a Coke a few years ago to put ketchup in bottles made in part with the residue of sugar cane. (Click to read about Ford's major overhaul of the F-150 to make it significantly lighter.)

  (Shutterstock)
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