Ford, Mcdonald’s collaborate to convert coffee bean skin into car parts

Ford Motor Company and McDonald’s USA are joining hands to convert coffee waste into vehicle parts such as headlamp housing. Ford is incorporating coffee chaff, coffee bean skin that naturally comes off during the roasting process, into the plastic headlamp housing used in some cars. The two companies can provide an innovative new home to a significant portion of that material, the company announced. McDonald’s is expected to direct a significant portion of its coffee chaff in North America to Ford to be incorporated into vehicle parts.

The chaff composite meets the quality specifications for parts like headlamp housings and other interior and under hood components. The resulting components will be about 20 percent lighter and require up to 25 percent less energy during the molding process. Heat properties of the chaff component are significantly better than the currently used material, according to Ford. This is the first time the company has used coffee bean waste skin to convert into select vehicle parts.

“McDonald’s commitment to innovation was impressive to us and matched our own forward-thinking vision and action for sustainability,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford Senior Technical Leader, Sustainability and Emerging Materials Research Team. “This has been a priority for Ford for over 20 years, and this is an example of jump starting the closed-loop economy, where different industries work together and exchange materials that otherwise would be side or waste products.”

“Like McDonald’s, Ford is committed to minimising waste and we’re always looking for innovative ways to further that goal,” said Ian Olson, Senior Director, Global Sustainability, McDonald’s. “By finding a way to use coffee chaff as a resource, we are elevating how companies together can increase participation in the closed-loop economy.”