I love working in the Tire Industry. The ubiquitous products are a mainstay of modern civilization: Everybody needs them; they have a lifecycle, and all the goods, services and travel that ride on tires make the world go round.
The downside of tires is environmental impact. In the last decade the United States passed the 400 million mark for number of scrap tires sitting in heaps. But the last 20 years have also seen innovative ways to recycle and reuse spent rubber.
At the turn of the recent century, markets existed for 78% of the scrap material available. That number has climbed into the 80’s since then with new uses for used tires including highway noise barriers, flooring material and playground safety surfaces. Ground tire material can now be used as an alternative to gravel in septic systems and landfill leachate systems. Cement and paper industries can power their kilns and mills by combustion of scrap tires for waste-to-energy.
Now the game is changing to the point that old tires will be beneficial to have lying around with the introduction of a new tire line that replaces petroleum with oil derived from orange peels from Yokohama.
Black rubber + Orange peels = a Greener and cleaner Earth for all of us!
“The eco-focused dB Super E-spec mixes sustainable orange oil and natural rubber to drastically cut the use of petroleum, without compromising performance,” reports Dan King, Yokohama’s vice president of sales.
Kudos to Yokohama for innovating great products to help the planet without disrupting commerce and the pulse of our daily lives. They are almost my favorite Tire Company now, only because “Hankook” is such a fun name to say. Hankook! There I said it and enjoyed it. Try it sometime for fun.