Ford may make cars out of Heinz ketchup

June 10, 2014: 2:33 PM ET
tomato fiber pellets
The tomato by-products look nothing like tomatoes.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Get ready for the tomato-mobile.

Ford and Heinz are looking at ways to make car parts out of ketchup by-products, the automaker announced Tuesday.

Heinz uses more than two million tons of tomatoes every year and produces a lot of waste from the peels, stems and seeds.

The by-products are shipped to Ford facilities, where they are processed into small, dry pellets that can be used in manufacturing.

One possible application: making wiring brackets or interior compartments -- like cupholders -- out of dried tomato skins, Ford (F) said.

Related: Ketchup switch-up at McDonald's

Ford already works with Heinz, as well as Coca-Cola (KO) and Procter & Gamble (PG), on sustainability efforts. The efforts include reducing use of petroleum products, as well as water,

For example, Ford has manufactured seat cushions, seat backs, head restraints and door panel inserts out of fabric made using Coca-Cola plastic.

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While plastics are manufactured in many colors, tomatoes are associated with one. But that doesn't mean the parts will be available only in red, Ford said.

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