What is the value of a used tyre?

We often think about products in terms of their first use. The tyres on our car provide us with mobility. But what happens once they get changed at the garage and picked up by the recycler? The answer is, more value is created.

According to the English Environment Agency, the UK generated over 550,000 tonnes of waste tyres in 2019. That’s over 60 million tyres. Although there are different sizes and manufacturers for tyres, the materials used are similar. Typically, natural rubber, steel, textile, and chemicals compose a tyre. Various mixes are considered to extend the lifetime of the tyre, yet it will inevitably reach its end-of-life stage. As materials begin to wear, the tyre can no longer be safely used.

Before the 2006 EU Landfill directive, most worn-out tyres were landfilled. The process is deemed highly toxic and economically inefficient. Fortunately, a shift in policy to ban landfill waste pushed the growth of tyre recycling and retreading. Tyre recycling can is achieved through mechanical or chemical means, while the latter is recognised as a game changer in the recycling space.