If you are a tequila drinker, you are doing your part. Well, sort of. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – July 20, 2016 This may be our 25th story about Ford using plants for interior components and rightly so. An affordable lower carbon footprint while meeting the needs of the average automobile consumer is good news for all of us. Tequila drinkers will appreciate this story too. Ford teamed up with Jose Cuervo, the world’s top selling tequila brand, to explore the use of the tequila producer’s agave plant byproducts to develop more sustainable bioplastics for future Ford vehicles. Here is that story. Ford and Jose Cuervo are testing the bioplastic for use in vehicle interior and exterior components such as wiring harnesses, HVAC units and storage bins. Initial assessments suggest the material holds great promise due to its durability and aesthetic qualities. Success in developing a sustainable composite could reduce vehicle weight and lower energy consumption, while paring the use of petrochemicals and the impact of vehicle production on the environment. Debbie Mielewski, Ford Senior Technical Leader, Sustainability R&D: Jose Cuervo Agave Harvesting The agave plant growth cycle takes a minimum of seven-years. Once harvested, the heart of the plant is roasted, before grinding and extracting its juices for distillation. Jose Cuervo uses a portion of the remaining agave fibers as compost for its farms, and local artisans make crafts and agave paper from the remnants. As part of Jose Cuervo’s broader sustainability plan, the tequila maker is joining forces with Ford to develop a new way to use its remnant fibers. Jose Cuervo is family-owned and operated. Founded in 1795, it has been making tequila for more than 220 years with the same experience, craftsmanship and recipes that have been handed down generation after generation. The collaboration with Jose Cuervo is the latest example of Ford’s product and environmental stewardship through the use of biomaterials. Ford began researching the use of sustainable materials in its vehicles in 2000. Today, the automaker uses eight sustainable-based materials in its vehicles including soy foam, castor oil, wheat straw, kenaf fiber, cellulose, wood, coconut fiber and rice hulls. According to the UN Environment Program, 5 billion metric tons of agricultural biomass waste is produced annually. A byproduct of agriculture, the supply of materials is abundant and often underutilized. Yet the materials can be relatively low cost, and can help manufacturers to offset the use of glass fibers and talc for more sustainable, lightweight products. Mielewski added: What a great use of a byproduct! And for those that drink the stuff, you are now a part of making future Ford’s even better. Congrats on that accomplishment even if you did not know you were doing it. After a few shots of the stuff, you probably do not care about making future Ford's better. Or for that matter, care much about anything else either.