GM Recycles 2 Million Flint Water Bottles into Fleece


General Motors is adding 2 million water bottles from Flint, Michigan residents into its Do Your Part water bottle recycling initiative. The company collaborated with Schupan Recycling to collect the bottles. The plastic is washed, flaked and turned into fleece to make three products: Chevrolet Equinox V-6 engine covers, insulation for The Empowerment Plan coats for the homeless, and air filters for 10 GM plants.  The program engages a supply web of 11 organizations and reduces landfill wastes. The resulting social impact contributes to the initiative’s progress and expansion.

GM supplier Filtration Services Group involved the N.E.W. Life Center in Flint to make air filter panels from the 9,000 square feet of fleece created since Do Your Part was launched in April. After ‘at-risk’ individuals participate in programs dedicated to employment preparation or life change, this non-profit training center employs them to develop their skills further.

GM is donating enough insulation for The Empowerment Plan’s seamstresses — formerly homeless women —from the water bottle recycling initiative, to make 6,500 coats that transform into sleeping bags. These are then given to those in need at no cost.

An estimated 1.2 million bottles from five GM facilities throughout metro Detroit and Flint supplemented the significant volumes coming from the Flint community. The company recently added its Romulus Powertrain plant to the program. While many employees bring reusable water bottles to work, all of GM’s facilities provide water bottle recycling. Employees at these Michigan sites know exactly what the bottles will become when they throw the bottles in the recycling bins.


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