Report: Retreads are Greener than New Tyres
An independent analysis carried out to compare the relative carbon footprints of new tyres and retreaded tyres has concluded that the process required to manufacture and distribute a retreaded tyre produces significantly less carbon emissions than that required to produce a new tyre. The report, commissioned for the Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse (embedded within Oakdene Hollins Ltd) and carried out by carbon footprint specialists Best Foot Forward, compares the carbon footprint of a new and a retread 17.5” tyre for use by light commercial vehicles.
This study showed that the manufacture of a 17.5” new tyre produces 86.9 kg CO2 emissions compared to 60.5 kg CO2 for an equivalent retread tyre, a saving of 26.4 kg. This equates to a reduction of emissions by 30 per cent.
The report breaks down the carbon footprint of the tyre comparing the impacts arising from different product stages. It showed that the embodied carbon of materials is the largest component for both new tyres and retreads accounting for more than 50 per cent of the total impact. It is responsible for 49 kg of CO2 in new tyres 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 tyre produces 31 kg CO2, while retread energy is 22 kg CO2.
The footprint of transport is roughly the same for both tyre types. In total transport emissions add almost 10 kg CO2 for a new tyre and over 8 kg CO2 for a retread. The higher emissions for transport of new tyres come from the long distance import of raw materials from overseas.
Overall, the study found that retreading tyres is more environmentally beneficial than buying new, with the retreading of light commercial vehicle tyres reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 26.4 kg and giving material savings of 17.6 kg.
David Wilson, Director of the Retread Manufacturers Association, which represents the British retreading industry commented: “It is very gratifying to see that an independent report has validated the retreading industry’s environmental credentials. We have always emphasised the environmentally-friendly characteristics of retreaded tyres and can now prove that retreads compare very favourably in terms of environmental impact when compared to new tyres”.