Tequila, weed, cash, and a Ford car could be the elements for a hell of a road trip, but they’re also part of the automaker’s efforts to be more sustainable. At a Ford-sponsored panel discussion August 16 in San Francisco, senior technical leader Debbie Mielewski showed how the company was working with famed tequila maker José Cuervo to use less plastic in its car parts.
José Cuervo had tons of strong, durable agave fiber left over from tequila production. The company was using some of it for compost, as well as paper and local crafts, but much of it was going to waste. Because its operations happened to be near Ford’s automotive plants in Mexico, Mielewski and her team had a perfect opportunity to try the fiber as a reinforcing material for plastic.