Bridgestone Develops Tyre Using 75% Recycled and Renewable Materials

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Published on
April 11, 2023

Bridgestone, has announced the production of a batch of demonstration tyres made from 75% recycled and renewable materials. The company utilised synthetic rubber made from recycled plastics and natural rubber harvested from desert shrubs grown in the Arizona desert. The 200 demonstration tyres produced will be evaluated jointly with automakers for use on the next generation of electrified SUVs and crossovers.

Bridgestone's goal of using 100% sustainable materials in its products by 2050 is driving this tyre production. The company is also pursuing a ttre design that utilises 90% recycled and renewable materials for passenger cars. These initiatives underscore the company's relentless commitment to sustainability.

The tyres were designed and engineered at Bridgestone's Americas Technology Center in Akron, Ohio, and produced at the Aiken County Passenger/Light Truck Radial yire Plant in Graniteville, South Carolina. The Aiken plant is the first tyre manufacturing facility in America to earn International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS certification, ensuring transparency and traceability of sustainable raw materials.

The tyres contain a range of recycled and biobased feedstocks, including recycled monomer, produced with recycled materials like plastic bottles, to create the synthetic rubber. Other recycled materials include steel and carbon black, as well as TPO-derived carbon black and bio-based carbon black. The new tyre is the first street tyre to utilize natural rubber derived from the guayule desert shrub, cultivated at Bridgestone's guayule R&D agricultural facility in Eloy, Arizona. Bridgestone has spent over 10 years and more than $100 million on the research and development of guayule as an alternative to imported natural rubber from the Hevea Brasiliensis tree grown mainly in Southeast Asia.

Guayule can serve as an alternative to existing crops like alfalfa and cotton in America's drought-stricken desert southwest, requiring as little as half the water to cultivate. The company is targeting commercial production of guayule-derived natural rubber by the end of the decade, as part of its plan to achieve carbon neutrality and make tyres from 100% sustainable materials by 2050.

The development of the 75% recycled and renewable materials tyre aligns with the Bridgestone E8 Commitment, which consists of 8 Bridgestone-like values starting with the letter "E" (Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease, and Empowerment) to help realize a more sustainable society.

Bridgestone's Paolo Ferrari, president, and CEO of Bridgestone Americas, stated, "The production and deployment of a 75-percent recycled and renewable materials tyre technology marks a significant milestone as we accelerate our progress toward using fully sustainable materials in our products by 2050. As we progress in our transformation to a sustainable solutions company, we are making incredible progress in the use of recycled and renewable materials to bring sustainable tyre technology from the drawing board to the driveway."

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