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Oil Recycled From BP Spill Used to Make Chevy Volt Plastic Parts

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The BP spill has definitely caused a lot of environmental damage and people spent a lot of money and energy to clean it. To make themselves a greener image the General Motors company has, for marketing purposes, announced that they will use recycled BP spilled oil to make the plastics in the iconic Chevy Volt… which is a half-blood electric.

They’ll process the oil in Indiana, where more than 100,000 pounds (45,360 kilograms) of plastic pellets will be manufactured. Add recycled tires to the compound and you’ll have the perfect parts that make up the car radiator’s shield.

“This was purely a matter of helping out,” said John Bradburn, manager of GM’s waste-reduction efforts.

“If sent to a landfill, these materials would have taken hundreds of years to begin to break down, and we didn’t want to see the spill further impact the environment,” he added.

“We knew we could identify a beneficial reuse of this material given our experience.”

Yes, it was a matter of helping out, but oil is still oil, and the largest part of those plastics is going to be dumped somewhere eventually, without being recycled, and without even being biodegradable. So, I wonder: where’s GM’s greenness in this case?

Bioplastics have been proven to emit much more greenhouse gas than their fossil siblings, but they disintegrate in a much shorter time. What GM should have been doing was to use innovative kinds of plastics in their car, and not to rely on the same old recipe. It’s not green at all, imho. It only helps to delay the eventual burn of that oil.

Still, it’s a good thing GM recycles 75% of their materials. It’s still a matter of company policy from now on to encourage the return of trashed vehicles to the nearest specialized recycling center, otherwise the entire effort is in vain.

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