Retreads leave greener footprint: Study

AYLESBURY, UK — Retreads are more environmentally friendly than new tires, a new study in Europe has found.

Comparing the relative carbon footprints of new tires and retreads, the report, commissioned for the Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse in the UK, concludes that manufacturing and distribution of a retreaded tire produces significantly less carbon emissions than what’s required to produce a new tire.

The study showed that the manufacture of a 17.5-inch tire on a lighter commercial vehcile produces 86.9 kg CO2 emissions compared to 60.5 kg CO2 for an equivalent retread tire, a saving of 26.4 kg. This equates to a reduction of emissions by 30 percent, claims the study.

The report breaks down the carbon footprint of the tire comparing the impacts arising from different product stages. It showed that the embodied carbon of materials is the largest component for both new tires and retreads accounting for more than 50 percent of the total impact. It is responsible for 49 kg of CO2 in new tires compared to 31 kg CO2 in retreads.

The second largest impact is attributed to the energy needed in the manufacturing and retreading process. The energy used to manufacture a new tire produces 31 kg CO2, while retread energy is 22 kg CO2.

"It is very gratifying to see that an independent report has validated the retreading industry’s environmental credentials. We have always emphasized the environmentally friendly characteristics of retreaded tires and can now prove that retreads compare very favorably in terms of environmental impact when compared to new tires," said David Wilson, director of the Retread Manufacturers Association, which represents the British retreading industry.


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