Tyres are made of natural rubber and plastic which is among the most common and high level polluters on Earth. In the year 2014, Biologist John Weinstein along with a group of graduate students went in search of micro plastics and their effects on marine life but instead found pieces of car tyres in the ocean. Another study done by Pieter Jan Kole in 2017, at the Open University on Netherlands, showed that 10% of the overall micro plastic waste in the world is caused by tyres. Where as a 2017 report by the international union of conservation of nature mentioned that it was 28%. Rubber tyres come from rubber trees and the cultivation of these trees have led to mass deforestation across the globe.
HISTORY OF CAR TYRES
By the 20th century, cost of cars had reduced and had become more affordable hence, there was a need for more rubber. German Chemist, Fritz Hofmann in the year 1909, was working for a German Chemical company Bayer, this is where the first commercial synthetic rubber was invented. Within a year of manufacturing synthetic rubber, the companies started using it for production of car tyres. Nowadays tyres consist of about 19% of natural rubber and 24% synthetic rubber which is plastic polymer. The rest is made up of metal and other compounds. Modern car tyres require about 7 gallons of oil to make, while truck tyres take 22 gallons. But during the years it was found that, as the rubber wears, tyres throw off tiny plastic polymers that often end up as pollutants in oceans, waterways, moving through running waters such as during the rain and sometimes carried away by wind.
In a 2013 report by Tire Steward Manitoba, Canada found that passenger light truck tyres lost nearly 2.5 pounds of rubber during their service life. The kohl study found that the Americans produce the most tyre wear per capital and estimates that, overall, tyres in the U.S. alone produce about 1.8 million tonnes of micro plastic each year. In some places tyre scrapes are re used in play grounds, sports fields and building materials. Sometimes people burn the tyres for energy which is called "Tyre derived fuels" (TDF). If these tyres are not burnt properly and in a proper environment it could be disastrous as tyres tyres contain high levels of potential pollutants such as zinc and chlorine. Tyres that are not recycled or burnt mostly end up in land fills.
Green tyres or eco tyres are a new breed of environmentally friendly rubber. Green tyre technology focuses on fuel efficiency. The tyres employ a special type of tightly bonded rubber in the tread blocks to retain more energy while driving - this means a lower rolling resistance and therefore less engine power sapped in rotating the tyre. Rolling resistance of a tyre can account for as much as 30% of a vehicles fuel consumption and quarter of its CO2 emissions. If this is reduced you will also be reducing your vehicles carbon footprint by upto 300kg per year. Research also proves that it can also cut your fuel consumption. The eco rubber can actually perform better in some tests such as better grip then more generalist all round tyres. If the whole planet had all cars equipped with eco friendly tyres you could save upto 20 billion litres of fuel per year and cut worldwide CO2 emissions by 50 million tonnes.
By the year 2050, the Michelin group tyres will be 100% sustainable as said by the company. Today nearly 30% of their components used to manufacture their tyres are made from natural, recycled or otherwise other sustainable raw materials. Michelin for the sustainable tyres. Supports research and development. Hence along with Axens and IFP Energies Nouvelles, the two companies are spear heading the BioButterfly project. They have been working with Michelin sine 2019 on producing bio sourced butadiene to replace petroleum based butadiene. Using the bio mass from wood, rice husks, leaves, corn stalks and other plant waste, 4.2 million tonnes of wood chips would be incorporated into Michelin tyres every year. The company is also recycling plastics found in packaging, like yogurt pots, food trays, insulating panels and PET Plastic waste. All these are used for making polyester yarn used in tyre manufacturing. Some 4 billion plastic bottles could be potentially recycled into Michelin tyres every year.
FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNSEL
Today many companies work along side with Forest Stewardship Counsel (FSC). For those environment supporters by simply choosing products with FSC labels you are helping to take care of the worlds forests. FSC certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits. FSC provides the highest standard of protection for endangered species and forests, providing a safe and secure future for our planet. It is found that FSC areas had reduced the deforestation in FSC areas by 5%. It is an international, non governmental organization dedicated to promoting responsible management of the worlds forests. FSC has developed a system of forest certification and product labeling that enables people to identify responsibly sourced wood, paper and other forest products.
Pirelli, another leading tyre manufacturer in the world is currently the first company to produce FSC - certified tyres. This sustainability milestone demonstrates that an FSC- certified value chain, from small holder - owned rubber plantations to consumers, is possible for natural rubber used in auto tyres. The new Pirelli P ZERO tyres will be equiped on the BMW X5 plug-in hybrid model. This model also uses FSC certified natural rubber and rayon as well as other materials. The rubber is sourced from forests or plantations with safe working conditions, and with out deforestation or other environmental damage.
To all our readers who care about the environment, we request you to kindly change to eco friendly tyres to save the consumption on fuel and the planet.