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News: Rivals play ketchup as Ford and Heinz develop tomato-based plastics

Ford has teamed up with Heinz, makers of the famous ketchup, to develop a bio-plastic made from tomato fibres that could be used for storage compartments in cars.


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DO YOU want a doorbin with your fries? Ford has teamed up with Heinz, makers of the famous ketchup, to develop a bio-plastic made from tomato fibres that could be used for storage compartments in cars.

Heinz processes 2m tons of tomatoes each year and has been working with Ford to find ways of using the peel, stems and seeds it would otherwise throw away.

“We are exploring whether this food processing by-product makes sense for an automotive application,” said Ellen Lee, a Ford plastics research specialist.

The news puts Ford in the forefront of bio-plastic applications in cars. Already, some of its cars’ console compartments are made from cellulose fibre, while it uses recycled cotton for carpets and seat fabrics, and soy foam in seat cushions.

Perhaps that’s why the Fiesta ST looks good enough to eat.