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Ford and Heinz have more in common than you might think

Ketchup byproducts may be used in the production of Ford vehicles.
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Heinz uses more than two million tons of tomatoes every year and Ford sold more than two million vehicles in the U.S. alone in 2013. How do these facts relate? On Tuesday, the automaker announced that they are partnering with Heinz to find a way to make car parts out of ketchup by-products.

The ketchup by-products are being shipped to Ford manufacturing facilities where they are processed into small pellets. Ford reports that these dry pellets could potentially be made into wiring brackets or interior compartments such as cup holders.

This isn’t the first venture Ford has taken to reduce the use of petroleum products and water. The automaker has already partnered with Nike, Coca-Cola, and Proctor & Gamble to make vehicles more sustainable.

The Ford F-Series trucks prove that pickups can be green as well as tough. Henry Day Ford in West Valley City, Utah sells new F-150 trucks that were manufactured with rice hulls — a rice grain byproduct — in the electrical harness.

The F-Series trucks sold at Henry Day Ford and many other Ford dealerships also feature parts from other surprising materials such as soybeans in seat cushions, seat backs and head restraints, recycled plastic bottles in the wheel liners and shields and eve cotton balls as carpet insulation and sound absorption.

Ford has said that the efforts to make to reduce, reuse and recycle is a part of the company’s green strategy to decrease its environmental footprint while simultaneously improving their fuel-efficient vehicles.

The project with Heinz is still in the early stages of research and there are still some unanswered questions, but the possibilities that could become available to both Ford and Heinz is exciting news for Ford dealerships like Henry Day Ford. This development is just the beginning of an acceleration in sustainable, fuel-efficient vehicle technology for consumers worldwide.

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