Ford has just announced that the next-generation Ford Escape will use 25 recycled 20-ounce plastic bottles in the carpeting of each Escape built, which could translate to over 4 million recycled bottles annually. Just another sustainable effort from Ford as their vehicles grow ever greener with each successive generation.From Soy Seats to Coconut Plastics

American automakers are quickly becoming world leaders in sustainable technologies, from fuel-efficient cars to alternative fuels and recycled materials. Ford especially has been rolling out one recycled material after another, and I even got a chance to check out some of their upcoming recycled products earlier this year at the Forward with Ford event.

Among the many innovations are soy-based foam seats, recycled cotton fibers and blue jeans used as sound deadening and carpet backing, and even coconut-based plastics. It’s all very green…and the numbers will really start to add up. Ford has also started employing electric yard tractors, and their U.K. diesel engine plant is now 100% wind powered.

The recycled bottle carpeting had to stand up to Ford’s rigorous durability tests, where engineers can simulate up to five years of wear and tear in just 15-minutes. The solution to preventing premature wear and discoloration is adding more plastic, 25 bottles in all, to carpeting throughout the as-yet-unrevealed next-gen Escape.

A Little Adds Up to A LotNow 25 20-ounce bottles may not seem like a whole lot, until you consider just how many cars we are talking about here. In 2010 alone, Ford sold over 191,000 Escape Compact SUV’s in America, and has consistently been the second-best selling Compact SUV for most of the past decade. So, 25 bottles multiplied times about 190,000 vehicles is 4,775,000 recycled plastic bottles. And that is a big number.

This is just another piece of what is shaping up to be a very sustainable vehicle Ford plans to unveil next month. The next-gen Escape will also be dropping its hybrid model in favor of more-fuel efficient EcoBoost engines that should get even better MPG than the hybrid predecessor. And if it looks anything like the Vertrek concept Ford unveiled at the North American International Auto Show last winter, or the EVOs concept unveiled last month, I think the Blue Oval will have a definite winner on their hands.

Check out the next page to read Ford’s official press release.

Source: FordChris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.