Automotive Supply Chain Trial WRAP

Driving sustainability in the Automotive Sector

WRAP’s innovative supply chain trials work with businesses in Wales to increase the use of recycled material in products and ensure these products can be recycled.

Funded by Welsh Government, WRAP and multiple supply chain project partners aim to drive market confidence in using post-consumer recycled materials in products already on the market by demonstrating the economic and environmental benefits of doing so.

Driving Sustainability in the Automotive Sector

This supply chain project delivered with lead partner BIC Innovation, a private consultancy company specialising in innovation and growth and in partnership with Advantage Automotive, both based in Wales, is at the forefront of addressing challenges within the automotive sector.

The project's aim is to manufacture the Advantage Automotive screen wash system using a proportion of recycled content, thus reducing the reliance on virgin material. Beyond technical performance, the project also focuses on developing a sustainable supply chain and commercial business model.

While many automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are starting to consider recycled material in their products, barriers persist, including concerns about product quality, consistency, testing, certification, and supply chain robustness. This project tackles such challenges head-on, in this case the requirement for a natural grade of material suitable for the blow moulding process. Cost considerations often play a pivotal role in our endeavour.

Promising developments

Progress has surpassed all expectations. WRAP Cymru facilitated introductions to AST Plastics in Wrexham, known for manufacturing UN-approved hazardous liquid containers using recycled HDPE. AST was a recipient of a circular economy fund grant, administered by WRAP on behalf of the Welsh Government, that allowed AST to wash and reuse containers, with any damaged containers being recycled.

This has meant AST has successfully supplied Advantage Automotive with a suitable natural blow moulding grade material, which has been successfully used in the manufacture of the screen wash systems at 100% replacement of virgin HDPE. Their customer, a major OEM, have been very encouraged by this development and are comparing test results and performing their own tests as they consider the switch to parts made from 100% recycled materials.

However, our journey doesn't stop here. The next phase of the project focuses on exploring alternative product design concepts that incorporate non-natural materials, known as 'jazz material.' This step aims to ensure a consistent, long-term material supply, opening up additional sources of valuable recycled material.

Stay tuned for further updates on our journey toward a more sustainable future.