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Ford plans to start making car parts out of ketchup by-product

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Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 5:31 PM -

Ford and Heinz announced Tuesday that they are teaming up to make car parts out of ketchup by-product. 

A lot of peels and stems -- among other things -- are leftover when Heinz makes ketchup.

The company goes through more than two million tonnes of tomatoes a year and it has been looking for innovative ways to minimize its impact on the environment.

The recent partnership with Ford may be the solution.

Dried tomato skins, for example, may one day be used to make brackets or the bins that hold spare change.

The companies say the collaboration is part of a plan to develop "sustainable, composite materials for use in vehicle manufacturing".


RELATED: Honda wants you to drink its car emissions


“We are exploring whether this food processing byproduct makes sense for an automotive application,” said Ellen Lee, plastics research technical specialist for Ford in a press release cleverly titled You Say Tomato, We Say Tom-Auto.

"Our goal is to develop a strong, lightweight material that meets our vehicle requirements, while at the same time reducing our overall environmental impact."

Ford began collaborating with Heinz -- as well as the Coca-Cola Company, Nike Inc. and Procter & Gamble -- nearly two years ago to develop plant-based plastics.

"We are delighted that the technology has been validated,” said Vidhu Nagpal, associate director, packaging R&D for Heinz in the press release.

“Although we are in the very early stages of research, and many questions remain, we are excited about the possibilities this could produce for both Heinz and Ford, and the advancement of sustainable 100% plant-based plastics.”

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