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8:30 AM | November 11 2018

The recycled-plastics Volvo SUV

A special XC60 points to a future of Volvo vehicles comprising at least a quarter of plastic components constructed from recycled materials
It looks identical to the existing Volvo XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid SUV, yet inside several of the cabin’s plastic components have been replaced with equivalents containing recycled materials.
The special XC60’s interior features a tunnel console made from renewable fibres and plastics from discarded fishing nets and maritime ropes. On the floor, the carpet contains fibres made from PET plastic bottles and a recycled cotton mix from clothing manufacturers’ offcuts. The seats also use PET fibres from plastic bottles, and used car seats from old Volvo cars were used to create the sound-absorbing material under the car bonnet.
Volvo Cars created this specially built version of the XC60 to demonstrate the viability of its ambition for at least 25 per cent of the plastics used in every newly launched Volvo car from 2025 to be made from recycled material.
Volvo Cars also urged auto industry suppliers to work more closely with car makers to develop next generation components that are as sustainable as possible, especially with regards to containing more recycled plastics.
“We already work with some great, forward-thinking suppliers when it comes to sustainability,” said Martina Buchhauser, Volvo Cars’ senior vice president of global procurement. “However, we do need increased availability of recycled plastics if we are to make our ambition a reality. That is why we call on even more suppliers and new partners to join us in investing in recycled plastics and to help us realise our ambition.”
The recycled-plastics XC60 was revealed at the Ocean Summit during the Gothenburg Volvo Ocean Race stopover. The race’s focus on sustainability centres on a partnership with the United Nations Environment Clean Seas campaign, focussing on the call to action, ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’.

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Above: The triangular recycling logo points to more extensive use of sustainable plastics in the specially built XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid SUV.


“Extensive recycling and reuse of plastic is vital to our efforts to turn the tide on plastic pollution,” said Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment. “Volvo’s move to integrate plastic waste into the design of its next fleet of cars sets a new benchmark that we hope others in the car industry will follow. This is proof that this problem can be solved by design and innovation.”
The recycled plastics ambition is the most progressive statement around the use of recycled plastic by any premium automotive manufacturer.
It represents another demonstration of Volvo Cars’ commitment towards reducing its impact on the environment across all operations and products. In 2018, Volvo Cars also committed to eradicating single-use plastics across all its premises and events by the end of 2019.
“Volvo Cars is committed to minimising its global environmental footprint,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars. “Environmental care is one of Volvo’s core values and we will continue to find new ways to bring this into our business. This car and our recycled plastics ambition are further examples of that commitment.”

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