Coffee and eggshells could be used to make future cars interiors, says study

A new study has revealed that the future of car interiors could be made from coffee, eggshells and rice.

Callum, a design and engineering consultancy, has established a variety of ‘viable materials’ that could be used in a car’s cabin to make it more sustainable.

Teaming up with green-tech company Ottan, Callum found a way to replace plastics with other materials, which still keeps up with the requirements of a fully-functioning car.

Eggshells were mixed with resin to create a smooth material for areas such as the window switch surrounds, while the ‘green’ credentials of this feature were boosted by mixing it with walnut shells, increasing its recycled content to 84 per cent from 78 per cent.

For illuminated sections like lamp covers or lit-up switches, out-of-date lentils or rice could be turned into a translucent material. Coffee pulp could also be used to replace traditional plastics used for decorative areas.

Callum co-founder and design director, Ian Callum, said: “More of our customers are starting to think about sustainable projects and put an emphasis on the circular economy. With others, we might nudge them down that path, highlighting the business benefits of making a more sustainable choice.”

For a ‘mulberry-like’ colour, purple carrot pulp could be used for certain trim sections, while tree leaves can be recycled into a smooth surface to be used as an alternative to traditional wood finishes.

In Callum’s study many of the textiles used came from ‘preloved’ materials that would otherwise head to landfill, while seat centres were made from marine plastic waste. The study’s Porsche 911 test vehicle also incorporated Feline on the seat bolsters, which is a soft material made from PET bottles.

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