The blue oval will take millions of tonnes of coffee chaff — the dried skin of the coffee bean that comes off during roasting — and turn it into car parts.
Coffee car parts might sound a bit far-fetched but Ford and Maccas say that the coffee skin waste can be converted into a durable composite material to reinforce parts by mixing it with plastic and other additives.
The material can be used for headlight housings and other interior and under-the-bonnet components.
Ford claim the material is 20 per cent lighter and uses 25 per cent less energy to create than the current materials.
McDonald’s head of sustainability Ian Olson says the company is committed to reducing waste.
“Like McDonald’s, Ford is committed to minimising waste and we’re always looking for innovative ways to further that goal,” says Olson. “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.”
The material will only be used in the US, but Ford has set a goal to extend the use of sustainable and recycled materials globally.
Companies are increasingly sourcing sustainable and recycled materials. Several luxury brands use an imitation leather made out of recycled plastic. Other companies are using natural materials such as Eucalyptus, bamboo and sugarcane to make fake leather.
All these materials also double as vegan products.