Ford Motor Co. has been working for two years with several companies, including the H.J. Heinz Co., on developing a 100% plant-based plastic that could be used to make automotive parts and fabrics and replace petroleum-based materials.
Now the two companies are focusing on finding new uses for tomatoes, or at least the peels, stems, and seeds Heinz discards annually from the 2 million tons of tomatoes it processes.
One effort involves tomato skins and fibers. Ford researchers are using these “waste” products to make sustainable composites that could be turned into plastics for interior components or wiring brackets.