Until recently the term “Green Tyre” was a reference to unfinished, unvulcanised tyres. However, in today’s more ecologically aware industry, the term is being used with regard to the carbon footprint created by a tyre, both in production and general usage. The UK’s tyre retreaders are making use of this to stress the green credentials of retread tyres.
Recent reports, published by organizations such as WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and Best Foot Forward, have concluded that the manufacturing and distribution of retread tyres produces a significantly smaller carbon footprint than the traditional new tyre.
The findings are of particular interest to companies running fleets of trucks. The reports show that, on average, a retreaded truck tyre uses 44 kilos less rubber than a new tyre. It also produces a mere 17.5 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted by a new tyre. Obviously, if a tyre casing can be reused twice the savings are even greater. Another advantage is the saving that can be made on tyre disposals, which is a contentious subject at present.
The other major “green” topic within the tyre industry at present is low rolling resistance. In the past many retreaders have achieved low rolling resistance through reduced tread depth. However, this has a knock-on effect on the life expectancy of the tyres. Now the sector’s leaders are looking at compound design as a way of achieving low rolling resistance, without compromising durability.
There is no doubt that retreaded tyres are enjoying a renaissance. Their major impact is being made at the cost-conscious end of the market, where they are taking market-share from the budget producers from the Far East.