Tire Manufacturers Launch Programs for Sustainability


Some of the biggest tire manufacturers on the planet have joined forces in a quest to end the use of fossil resources in tire manufacturing by using 100% sustainable materials. With the initial focus on raw materials, Bridgestone has created a plant-derived synthetic rubber and Goodyear is experimenting with soybean oil to replace petroleum-based products. In keeping, Continental and Michelin are looking at plants that can be grown and harvested more efficiently for a viable, eco-friendly alternative.

Commitment to a Smaller Footprint

However, when we seek to make a smaller footprint in anything we do, there is always more than one element or component involved. When it comes to tires, the most obvious starting point is raw material as well as the resources consumed in manufacturing and product distribution. For example, tire manufacturers need to identify alternative sources of energy (wind, solar energy) to preserve air quality. Reforestation programs involve biological and agricultural research as well assertive efforts to ensure biodiversity.

Sustainability Put to the Test

As sustainability is put to the test, an obvious area where tire manufacturing can improve is in recycling the old tires, such as to make new tires through improved vulcanization processes. But, there are also less obvious areas, which can make a significant difference. Low rolling resistance tires will allow the vehicle to use less gas thus emitting less harmful gases into the atmosphere. Even simple innovations like sensors that notify drivers when a tire is improperly inflated can mean better gas mileage in addition to safer roadways.

Green in Places You Might Have Missed

During our years of involvement in racing, we have consistently watched those with a need for speed get on the bandwagon searching for efficiency, economy and ecology. In fact, many racetracks around the globe have repurposed tens of thousands of racing tires over the years to be used as safety barriers in corners and runoff areas. With a few holes drilled for drainage, used racing tires can be banded together to create a potentially life-saving wall of recycled rubber. As E3 Spark Plugs continues to develop more eco-friendly ignition products, we applaud everyone involved in the Green Movement.

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