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Mazda closes bumper recycling loop

August 29/2011

(Plastics Today) -- Recycled bumper polypropylene (PP) that may be more than 10 years old is now finding its way into new rear bumpers for the Mazda Biante minivan thanks to recycling technology developed by the automaker over many years.

Mazda Motor Corporation (Hiroshima, Japan) began collecting damaged bumpers (that were replaced at dealer service centers) as far back as 1992 and recycling them for use as vehicle undercovers. In subsequent years, it continued to hone paint removal technology to the point where by 2003, joint development with recycling system manufacturer Satake Corporation (Hiroshima) had increased the paint removal rate to 99.9%. The resulting recycled plastic thus passed the necessary strength and quality for use as replacement painted bumpers. At this stage, however, recycling was still limited to relatively new damaged bumpers from a cost and technological standpoint.

In the latest development, Mazda says has become the world's first automaker to successfully recycle scrapped bumpers from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) into raw material for new vehicle bumpers. The new technology made its commercial debut on August 21, 2011.

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