Retreads Deliver 30% Lower Carbon Footprint – Study
An independent study commissioned by the Centre for Remanufacturing and Reuse has shown that the process required to manufacture and retreaded tyres produces around 30 per cent less carbon emissions that that required to produce a new tyre.
Testing for the study was carried out by carbon footprint specialists Best Foot Forward and involved the use of new and retreaded 17.5-inch light commercial vehicle tyres. According to the results obtained, the manufacture of a new 17.5-inch tyre produces 86.9 kilograms (191.6 pounds) of CO2 emissions compared to 60.5 kilograms (133.4 pounds) CO2 for an equivalent retreaded tyre; a difference of 30.4 per cent.
The report breaks down the tyres’ carbon further, comparing the impacts arising from different product stages. It showed the embodied carbon in materials to be 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 kilograms (108 pounds) of CO2 in new tyres compared to 31 kilograms (68.3 pounds) 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 kilograms (68.3 pounds) of CO2, while retread energy equals 22 kilograms (48.5 pounds) of CO2.
The carbon footprint from transport is roughly the same for both tyre types. In total transport emissions add almost 10 kilograms (roughly 22 pounds) CO2 for a new tyre and over 8 kilograms (17.6 pounds) CO2 for a retread. The higher emissions required for transporting new tyres come from the long distance importation 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 kilograms (58.2 pounds) and giving material savings of 17.6 kilograms (38.8 pounds).
“It is very gratifying to see that an independent report has validated the retreading industry’s environmental credentials,” commented David Wilson, director of the Retread Manufacturers Association. “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.”