Published on February 15th, 2023 | by Subhash Nair0
Continental Tires Will Be Made Of 100% Sustainable Materials By 2050
Continental Tires shares how they aim to make all tires from sustainable materials by 2050.
Continental Tires has made a commitment to making all tires with sustainable materials. Currently, the company uses 15 to 20 percent renewable or recycled materials in a standard tire, but by 2050 at the latest, all their tire products will be made of 100% sustainable materials.
A typical tyre consists of as many as a hundred different raw materials, making the challenge especially difficult. Natural rubber accounts for between 10-40% of the entire weight of high-performance tires. The tire industry consumes 70% of the world’s rubber output. Continental will introduce a variety of methods to improve transparency and traceability along the entire value chain to ensure their rubber supply is sustainably sourced. Besides that, they’re also working on a ‘Taraxagum’ project, which aims to source a rubber alternative from specially cultivated dandelion plants.
Besides rubber, filler materials such as silica are essential. The company is looking at using the ash of rice husks as a source of sustainably-sourced silica. Plant-based oils such as rapeseed oil and resins from the paper and wood industries can be used as alternatives to current crude-oil based fillers that go into tires. Continental are also working with Pyrum Innovations to recycle materials from old tires. Pyrum breaks the old tires down into their constituent parts in an industrial furnace. This helps to close the loop while also serving as an additional sustainable source of carbon black. They’re also extracting the rubber, steel and textile cord from end-of-life tires for re-use.
The company is also working with partners to obtain high-quality polyester yarn for its tires from recycled PET bottles. ContiRe.Tex technology allows between 9-15 plastic bottles to be used for each tire, with the recycled PET material substituting conventional polyester in some tire casings already. These PET bottles are sourced from regions where there is no closed recycling loop present.
Claus Petschick, Head of Sustainability at Continental Tires, is clear about Continental’s mission, saying, “Continental is on the road toward becoming the most progressive manufacturer in the tire industry in terms of sustainability. We aim to use 100 percent sustainable materials in our tire products by 2050 at the latest.” He adds, “Our innovative power enables us to break new and even more sustainable ground. This encompasses everything from the origin and sourcing of our materials through to the reuse and recycling of our tires.”