Where old tyres go
Every year, the Michelin tyre company gathers the smartest minds in transportation for Movin’on, three days of expert panels, presentations, and people wearing lanyard ID tags. It’s a tyre convention – and it’s fascinating. This year, engineers at Michelin showed off a plan to make new tyres from 80 per cent renewable materials such as wood, straw, or beets (yes, seriously). Why does Michelin spend more than $800 million (R11.3 billion) every single year researching sustainability so it can make tyres out of root vegetables? Because the modern tyre – more specifically, its disposal – is a filthy business. Each year, automobiles produce 246 million waste tyres in the United States alone. How to reduce that astonishing number is a huge challenge, so pressing that it has created its own industry dedicated to recycling efficiency.