Ford announced last year it was working with food giant Heinz to see if discarded dried tomato skins could be used to develop an alternative to petroleum-based plastic.
British sports car maker Lotus has experimented with body panels made from hemp fibers.
Toyota uses plant-based plastics in the Aygo model. Door trims, seat cushions, spare tire covers and boot liners are among the parts that the Japanese firm now makes with materials derived from natural sources, such as the castor oil plant.
‘The aerial’s been chewed off twice, the oxygen sensor’s been damaged and various rubber-like trim parts have been chewed and damaged,’ he told motoring magazine Auto Express.
The dealer paid for the repairs each time the customer returned the car, and eventually swapped it for another model.
In England, many motorists park their car on the street. Garage space is limited on our tiny island. My husband parks our car in a lay-by outside, close to a wild stand of trees. But hungry squirrels have shunned our old metal vehicle.
I like the idea of using natural materials for cars, but if rodents eat the product, sales will fall. I guess scientists need to work out how to remove the flavor.