The future of Ford's cars: biodegradable?

Imagine fertilizing your garden with car parts. That's the dream of Debbie Mielewski and her team of bio-engineers at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Mich.

I was invited to check out how Mielewski's Plastics Research Group is engineering an earth-friendlier plastic, at a time when crisis-levels are choking the Pacific Ocean.

The average car has about 300 pounds of plastic in it. That plastic is petroleum based. And if you've heard of the Great Garbage Patch -- a plastic soup the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean -- you know that plastic is an enemy of the earth.

But it's practically everywhere and needed, for now, in the cars we drive. If we have to wean our cars off of oil, we also need to include weaning the car-parts off of it too.