Michelin has announced its plans to recycle 100% of its tyres by 2048 and increase use of sustainable materials to 80%. The announcement made at Movin'On 2018 was made on the sidelines of ensuring a more sustainable future. Currently, the world-wide recovery rate for tyres is 70 percent and the recycling rate is 50 percent. Michelin tyres are currently made using 28 percent sustainable materials (26 percent bio-sourced materials like natural rubber, sunflower oil, limonene etc., and 2 percent recycled materials such as steel or recycled powdered tyres). Michelin is investing in high technology recycling technologies to be able to increase this content to 80 percent sustainable materials.
The route to this ambitious sustainable material target will be achieved by research programmes into bio-sourced materials like Biobutterfly and working with Michelin’s partners, and advanced technologies and materials that are being developed in these partnerships. The Biobutterfly programme was launched in 2012 with Axens and IFP Energies Nouvelles to create synthetic elastomers from biomass such as wood, straw or beet.
Michelin is aiming at integrating more and more recycled and renewable materials in its tyres, while continuing to improve performance, including 30% of recycled materials by 2048. This is demonstrated by the recent acquisition of Lehigh, a specialist in high technology micro powders which are derived from recycled tyres.
Last year at Movin’On, Michelin revealed its VISION concept. Advanced materials and 3D printing technologies will be used to manufacture and renew the tread of this mobility solution and will mean that it is 100 percent recyclable. The features of this concept which enhance its sustainability credentials:
- An airless tire made of bio-sourced and recycled products
- A connected eco-system within the tire, providing services and advice to the driver
- A bio-degradable tread that can be renewed with a 3D printer
- A mobility solution that reduces the environmental footprint of car journeys