In a company-wide sustainability project, Michelin has announced big plans to have 100% sustainable tyres by 2050. Quadrant Transport looks at how this is going to be achieved and what it means for wider sustainability goals for the transport industry.
The project to produce 100% sustainable tyres by 2050 is based upon the VISION concept from 2017. The vision project was designed to eliminate the use of air in tyres, through a new structure that supports the vehicle.
Building on this project, there are big plans to make the creation of the tyres fully sustainable. Currently, around 30% of the components to make tyres are sustainable. So a boost of 70% is a much-needed improvement.
To help Michelin meet their ambitious 2050 goal, they signed a partnership with Canada-based company Pyrowave. The partnership, formed in November 2020, can produce recycled styrene from plastics found in packaging, like yoghurt pots and food trays, or in insulating panels.
Now is the time to rethink Styrene use
This monomer Styrene has multiple uses so it is important to recycle it as much as possible. Not only for the manufacturing of polystyrene but also for the creation of synthetic rubber in tyres. The development of these synthetic tyres could lead to tens of thousands of tonnes of polystyrene to be recycled into original products.
We work hard every day to find the recipes that will improve tyre safety, durability, ride and other performance features while helping to make them 100% sustainable by 2050
A spokesperson for Michelin explained: “Michelin’s maturity in materials technology stems from the strength of its R&D capabilities, which are supported by 6,000 people working in seven research and development centres around the world and mastering 350 areas of expertise.”
They added: “We work hard every day to find the recipes that will improve tyre safety, durability, ride and other performance features while helping to make them 100% sustainable by 2050.”
To widen the scale of tyre sustainability, Michelin also committed to the construction of its first tire recycling plant in the world with Enviro.