On June 5th Michelin announced that, by 2048, 80% of its tyres will be made from recycled material and all will be recyclable.
"If we achieve our 30-year plan, we will save 33 million barrels of oil per year," says Cyrille Roget, Michelin's director of technology and innovation communications.
Currently, Michelin tires are made from 28% recycled materials (26% biogenic materials such as natural rubber, sunflower oil, limonene, etc., and 2% recycled materials such as steel or recycled tire powder).To meet its goal of recycling tyres, Michelin is investing in recycling technology in the hope of increasing the number of sustainable materials to 80 per cent.
Michelin acquired tuck, calif.-based tire waste treatment company lehigh technologies last fall to recycle tires into so-called micronized rubber powder (MRPs), 65 percent of which is already used in tire-related applications.
Despite the goal, Roget thinks it can be achieved.He says the tire industry already has high recycling rates, with about 70 percent of tires recycled.About half of these recycled tyres are used in higher-value products such as rubber asphalt and soles.
Michelin says recycling tires not only saves natural resources, but also reduces the cost of materials used in manufacturing.
So far, Michelin has signed a sustainability plan with its partners."We're not just looking for tyremakers, we need to work with tire recyclers," Roget said."It's not something that can be done alone."