Circularity factors big in Goodyear’s ‘sustainable’ tires

As I reported last year, the U.S. alone discards something like 6 billion pounds of tires annually. Some of that material is finding its way back into other tires through circular manufacturing processes, but a lot of it is burned or turned into things such as surfaces for playgrounds.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. was front and center last week with something to say about all of these topics. The centerpiece of its news was a demonstration tire (meaning that it’s being road-tested by the company) that is made of 70 percent sustainable materials — its goal is to reach 100 percent by 2030. For perspective, most tires on the market today are made with 25-30 percent sustainable materials.

What the heck does that mean in plain English? I’m not a tire engineer, but one big focus for Goodyear is simply decreasing the amount of unsustainable material — especially virgin petroleum and polyester — and finding viable replacements.