19 Nov 21

Barely 1% of tires are recycled – Michelin and Bridgestone want to change that

At the Smithers Recovered Carbon Black Conference in Amsterdam on 22 November, tire manufacturers Bridgestone and Michelin will present a joint vision on re-using old material in new tires. 

Each year, an estimated 1 billion tires reach the end of their useful life. Recycling tire materials is possible, but rare. Today, less than 1% of all carbon black material used in new tire production comes from recycled tires. Using recovered carbon black would reduce the tire industry’s dependence on the petrochemical industry, and reduce CO2 emissions associated with new-tire production by 85%.

The issue is not technology, but logistics. Next Monday in Amsterdam, Bridgestone and Michelin will propose a plan to increase the use of recovered carbon black in new tires (and other rubber products). This will require a coalition of stakeholders throughout the tire and rubber industry value chain – and that’s what both companies are looking to establish. 

Bridgestone and Michelin will lead the development of a position paper outlining the tire industry’s role in working towards a circular economy. In 2022, they will release a whitepaper to outline the technical requirements, characteristics, and proposed solutions to increase the use of recovered carbon black in new tires.

Image: Shutterstock

Authored by: Frank Jacobs