Recycled Plastic Benches, Now From Subaru

Photograph Courtesy Subaru

A shining beacon of automotive environmental responsibility, Subaru, is continuing their "Subaru Loves the Earth" initiative by making picnic tables and park benches out of recycled plastics. Working in partnership with recycling firm Terracycle, the benches are made by taking discarded plastics—like candy wrappers and coffee pods—and turning them into pellets. These pellets then can be "molded" into just about any piece of outdoor furniture that one can imagine (even playground equipment). No word yet on a WRX version, though.

Learn more about the process here.

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/5/20 10:38 a.m.

I'm down for a BRZ version, too. 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
2/5/20 10:39 a.m.

Pretty cool. Maybe they can concentrate on building higher quality cars instead. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
2/5/20 1:33 p.m.

I think their environmental initiatives are interesting considering they don't really make a lot of hybrids.

It might be the better option than just cranking out a hybrid and saying "good enough."

_
_ Dork
2/5/20 1:50 p.m.

"Hey, why does the STI dashboard smell minty?"

salesman:"it's made from recycled wrappers. The mint smell is added so you don't smell the condoms"

turtl631
turtl631 HalfDork
2/5/20 2:15 p.m.

I actually thought years ago that they would jump on hybrids.  It seemed that it would make sense for the next generation of WRX, they were always high-tech cars with the turbo engines and all-wheel drive.    I would appreciate for them to update the WRX and especially the STI with that old ass EJ25 rather than making some recycled plastic benches. Also salty that they sell only a lifted wagon with a CVT.  The enthusiasm seems to have gone out of the company now that they are selling a large amount of bloated CVT people movers.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
2/5/20 2:32 p.m.
Colin Wood said:

I think their environmental initiatives are interesting considering they don't really make a lot of hybrids.

It might be the better option than just cranking out a hybrid and saying "good enough."

They are slaying it in their marketing and advertising campaign. They are focusing their efforts so hard on the outdoor image, dog loving, and quasi-environmentalists that they don't need to develop more hybrids or an EV. Just look at their continually increasing sales figures over the last few years. They are going to ride out their current technologies until their bottom line starts shrinking and they have to work on something new. People are eating up their advertising.

My baby momma, her mother, her sister, her brother-in-law, and cousin all have Subarus because it makes them feel less like "soccer moms" and more like "adventurous/outdoorsy moms" by simply having a Subaru. They also send you cute little badges to affix to the rear of your car for "3rd time owner! Runner! Kayaker! Fur-Baby Friend!" 

I want to dislike them because of this; however, you have to admire how well they are doing. We as car people scoff at it and knock their less than desirable power numbers and build quality or how they put all their performance cars to the side at the LA Auto Show while the Outback XT was the star; but, it's working. It's a marketing masterpiece in my opinion. 

I think they will have to backtrack in a few years when the crossover fad dies down, the interest in EVs and hybrids increases more than it already has, and they are still stuck with gutless 150-175hp boxer enginer connected to a soulless CVT, in a 3400lbs crossover. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
2/5/20 2:41 p.m.
turtl631 said:

I actually thought years ago that they would jump on hybrids.  It seemed that it would make sense for the next generation of WRX, they were always high-tech cars with the turbo engines and all-wheel drive.    I would appreciate for them to update the WRX and especially the STI with that old ass EJ25 rather than making some recycled plastic benches. Also salty that they sell only a lifted wagon with a CVT.  The enthusiasm seems to have gone out of the company now that they are selling a large amount of bloated CVT people movers.

We are supposed to get a new STi at the end of the year..................I'm really curious what the specs/performance are going to be.

slowbird
slowbird Dork
2/5/20 3:19 p.m.

I thought this was going to involve WRX STi rear wings being turned into park benches.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
2/5/20 3:32 p.m.

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

That's pretty much exactly the discussion I had with David about this. The fact that Subaru doesn't really produce a "green" car, but still has a reputation as one of the most environmentally conscious car brands is really fasinating to me.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
2/5/20 3:32 p.m.

In reply to slowbird :

Also a valid option for outdoor seating.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
2/5/20 4:37 p.m.

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

Not to mention their low MPGs! Aside from Toyota, they have some of the wrost emissions ratings of all the Japanese manufacturers and they were on-board with the feaux-EPA relaxing regulations.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/5/20 5:55 p.m.

Will those benches have head gasket issues?

300zxfreak
300zxfreak New Reader
2/5/20 8:01 p.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

No, but they may have rear end issues.

b13990
b13990 Reader
2/5/20 8:15 p.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

Aside from Toyota, they have some of the wrost emissions ratings of all the Japanese manufacturers and they were on-board with the feaux-EPA relaxing regulations.

People respond to price signals. There is not a strong price signal saying "petroleum is scarce," at least not in my country. That's not Subaru's fault.

Beyond that, my experience has been that there's a "fast / durable / economical" tradeoff triangle, and different manufacturers pick different spots on this triangle. That's good. I buy Subarus because gasoline is a miniscule fraction of my budget and "time worrying about broken cars" is not.

The cars I have been pressured into buying over MPG concerns (e.g. an Equinox) have wasted enough of my time to buy the Exxon Valdez, at any reasonable labor rate.

CyberEric
CyberEric HalfDork
2/5/20 9:05 p.m.

Man, I find myself nodding vigorously through these comments. 

They certainly have nailed their marketing to their audience, and this is more of it. I love the idea and I’m happy they are doing it, but I won’t buy a Subaru until they make better cars.

It never ceases to amaze me how people respond to marketing. 

turtl631
turtl631 HalfDork
2/5/20 11:57 p.m.
z31maniac said:
turtl631 said:

I actually thought years ago that they would jump on hybrids.  It seemed that it would make sense for the next generation of WRX, they were always high-tech cars with the turbo engines and all-wheel drive.    I would appreciate for them to update the WRX and especially the STI with that old ass EJ25 rather than making some recycled plastic benches. Also salty that they sell only a lifted wagon with a CVT.  The enthusiasm seems to have gone out of the company now that they are selling a large amount of bloated CVT people movers.

We are supposed to get a new STi at the end of the year..................I'm really curious what the specs/performance are going to be.

I'd guess 315hp from FA24DIT and the same performance since 2004.

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
2/6/20 12:28 a.m.

Subaru cars WERE fuel efficient cars back when.   You gotta love that 16mpg Tribecca..  A good source for a H6 engine, and the 18-wheels are nice!

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
2/6/20 7:41 a.m.
turtl631 said:
z31maniac said:
turtl631 said:

I actually thought years ago that they would jump on hybrids.  It seemed that it would make sense for the next generation of WRX, they were always high-tech cars with the turbo engines and all-wheel drive.    I would appreciate for them to update the WRX and especially the STI with that old ass EJ25 rather than making some recycled plastic benches. Also salty that they sell only a lifted wagon with a CVT.  The enthusiasm seems to have gone out of the company now that they are selling a large amount of bloated CVT people movers.

We are supposed to get a new STi at the end of the year..................I'm really curious what the specs/performance are going to be.

I'd guess 315hp from FA24DIT and the same performance since 2004.

That engine is what a few articles have suggested. Theoretically the FA24 won't be nearly as peaky as the EJ, but unless they bring the weight down (or that number is super underrated) I suspect people will be disappointed. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
2/6/20 4:55 p.m.
Colin Wood said:

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

That's pretty much exactly the discussion I had with David about this. The fact that Subaru doesn't really produce a "green" car, but still has a reputation as one of the most environmentally conscious car brands is really fasinating to me.

It's brilliant. They had this huge national parks style setup at the LA Auto Show and my lady friend who is a Subaru and National Park lover bee-lined to their booth when she saw the faux Sequoia trees. Meanwhile the new "Ceramic White" STi, WRX, and BRZ were in this dimly lit alley next to all the crossovers with no love whatsoever. You couple that part of their marketing with the allusion that AWD is safer and high ratings on crash testing and you have a recipe for success. Even the upper class loves them because of their unassuming profile. 

I'm sure their bean counters are loving it as well. 

If they could manage to have a bigger trunk opening and seats that folded flat like an AWD CR-V on any of their crossovers....I would maybe re-consider putting another Subaru in my personal inventory to replace my Sequoia, until then these leaky 2UZ manifolds are gonna keep riding out. 

Ransom
Ransom UltimaDork
2/7/20 4:14 p.m.

If the Outback had continued to look like a station wagon rather than a blancmange, it would probably still be on my radar.

I did really like my '12 WRX, but I'm okay with trying for better MPG/ft^3 on the household appliance. Also, what it took to get at the turn signal bulbs gave me the heebie-jeebies about Actual Work.

They certainly don't distinguish themselves as having the most disingenuous action/advert profile in the auto world by having an outdoorsy vibe.

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