9:00 PM | October 25 2021
Model retrospective: 2018 recycled-plastics Volvo XC60
A bespoke XC60 luxury SUV showcased Volvo Cars’ potential to create car interiors with a significant percentage of recycled materials.
From the outside, it looked like a regular Volvo XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid.
On the inside of this unique midsize luxury SUV, however, more than 170 parts had been swapped for equivalent plastic components containing recycled materials. It equated to the re-use of more than 60kg of materials.
This specially built XC60 was created to demonstrate the viability of Volvo Cars’ then newly announced ambition: that from 2025, at least 25 per cent of the plastics used in every newly launched Volvo car would be made from recycled material.
The special XC60’s interior (main image) has 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.
Above: The special XC60 featured carpet containing fibres made from PET plastic bottles and a recycled cotton mix from clothing manufacturers’ offcuts.
Above: The Volvo XC60 featured the logos of the United Nations Environment Clean Seas campaign.
And used car seats from old Volvo cars were used to create the sound-absorbing material under the car bonnet.
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’.
The company’s recycled-materials ambition was recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme.
“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 their 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.”
A month prior to revealing its plan for increasing its use of recycled materials in its vehicles, Volvo Cars committed to eradicate single-use plastics across all its premises and events by the end of 2019.
Three years on from the special XC60, Volvo Cars’ ambition for interiors with a greater sustainability focus is not only still on track but now extended with the announcement it will take an ethical stand for animal welfare with leather-free cars.