General Motors has taken yet another step on its path to being a greener automobile manufacturer. The company has announced 2 million plastic water bottles from the Flint, Michigan area have been recycled and found new life as fleece.
The process takes the plastic through a wash before it is flaked and turned into fleece for three applications; the fleece becomes engine covers for the Chevrolet Equinox’s V6 engine, insulation for The Empowerment Plan coats for the homeless and air filters for 10 GM plants.
The Empowerment Plan provides the fleece coats for the homeless, which also transform into sleeping bags. The coats are distributed at no cost. All the while, the process is a training movement in lean manufacturing, and for employees to learn soft and hard skills.
“We’re committed to proving to employers that formerly homeless people can be a skilled talent pool,” said Veronika Scott, founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan. “The end product is more than a coat: It empowers women to take control of their lives and provides the path to long-term, sustainable jobs.”
As estimated 1.2 million water bottles came from GM facilities, where recycling water bottles is commonplace.
“People want to do the right thing,” said John Bradburn, GM global waste reduction manager. “The Do Your Part recycling initiative is a way our employees and communities can connect their individual actions to broader social and environmental causes.”