GM Is Reusing Oil-Soaked Booms in the Chevy Volt

Posted by Andrew Price

Remember those plastic booms they used to clean up oil from the Deepwater Horizon Spill? General Motors has announced it will repurpose 100 miles of the boom used off the Alabama and Louisiana coasts to create "under hood parts" for the Chevy Volt.

More than 100,000 pounds of plastic resin will be created by recycling this boom, which means that there will be 100,000 fewer pounds of waste from the Gulf oil spill. The recycling process involved several steps including the removal of oil and wastewater from the collected booms, preparing the plastics for die-mold production and ultimately creating the components. GM worked with several companies during this multi-step process including Heritage Environmental, Mobile Fluid Recovery, Lucent Polymers and GDC Inc.

This smells a little bit like a stunt. I wonder if GM went out of its way to get plastic from the Gulf because it would make the initiative so headline-friendly. Also, I'd be curious to know more about the energy required for the recycling process.

But that said, this seems like a big net positive and it's certainly the kind of behavior we want to encourage in our businesses. Your move, Nissan.