The plastic booms used to absorb oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year will be recycled for use as parts in the plug-in electric Chevrolet Volt. General Motors officials say the recycled oil extracted from the booms will be converted into 100,000 pounds of plastic resin pellets that will ultimately be mixed with recycled tires to create the parts that protect the Volt’s radiator.
The material would otherwise be buried in landfills or burned. “If sent to a landfill, these materials would have taken hundreds of years to begin to break down, and we didn’t want to see the spill further impact the environment,” said John Bradburn, manager of GM’s waste-reduction and recycling efforts. More than 2,550 miles of boom were deployed in the Gulf in the months following the BP oil spill.