Environment | Value natural resources
Action2: Recycle resources & use effectively Value natural resources

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The materials the Bridgestone Group currently uses in its products can be classified into three categories: renewable materials; non-renewable materials; and recycled materials. In addition to reducing raw material consumption, the Group is promoting the reuse of resources and the use of recycled materials.

As a specific example of this activity, the Group is working on expanding sales of retread tires globally. A retread tire reuses a used tire by replacing the worn tread with a new tread on the existing casing. While using less than one-third of the raw materials needed for a new tire, it greatly reduces the number of spent or discarded tires by reusing used tires.

The Group also incorporates micronized rubber powder made from recycled end-of-life tires and rubber products as a raw material in producing new, high-performance tires, tires for agriculture and off-road applications, and pre-cured tread for tire retread.

The Group also develops new technologies like the Air Free Concept, a non-pneumatic tire made from recyclable materials.


Retread tires

Retread tires reuse the resource of tires casing by replacing the worn tread rubber (areas that come into contact with the road surface). Retread tires use less than one-third the amount of raw materials used in new tires and enable the reuse of other tire components (casing). The solution significantly contributes to the reduction of discarded tires. Retreading contributes to the reduction of waste generation as end-of-life tires in communities.

* Calculated a case of TBR General tyres (275/80R22.5) based on “Tyre LCCO2 Calculation Guidelines Ver. 2.0” (The Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association, Inc., April 2012)

Retreading aircraft tires

The Bridgestone Group has been developing retreads for aircraft tires since 1955. Today, the Group provides customers worldwide with products and services that excel in environmental performance, safety and economy from its five retreading plants around the world.

While meeting the stringent performance requirements of aircraft manufacturers, the Group designs aircraft tires so that they can be retreaded after use. The tires are returned when the grooves have disappeared due to wear and tear during takeoff and landing, and are retreaded at the Group retreading plants. The tread of main wheel bias tires of an aircraft wears out after about 200 takeoffs*1 and landings, while the tread of main wheel radial tires wears out after about 350 takeoffs and landings. In general, bias tires are retreaded up to 6 times and radial tires up to 3 times, which means each tire can make a total of about 1,400 takeoffs and landings during its product life.

The Group inspects returned tires on a number of requirements across the retreading process to deliver to its customers only retreaded tires that have successfully passed non-destructive testing at the final inspection. These retreaded tires provide the same product performance and meet the safety standards as new tires.

  1. Number varies depending on the aircraft model.

Longer life with improved durability

Carrying cargo or passengers, trucks and buses are the lifeblood of the world’s economy. Bridgestone is continually developing new innovative technology for truck and bus tires. With a full line-up of tires tailored to nearly every commercial-use application, it provides high levels of safety, reliability, and cost-effectiveness for highway, city, on and off-road, and winter driving conditions. The M800 series of truck and bus tires is designed to maintain high durability in casing and can be retreaded twice*1.

  1. Applicable to the following product sizes: 11R22.5 14PR/16PR and 275/80R22.5. The usage or management conditions of the tire and condition of components other than the tread (e.g. casing), may impact the ability of the tire to be retreaded.

Utilizing recovered carbon black

In partnership with Delta-Energy Group, a market leader in tire material recovery, Bridgestone Americas (BSAM) has begun using recovered carbon black (rCB) in manufacturing new high-quality tires for agriculture and passenger vehicles in Des Moines, Aiken County and Cuernavaca.

Delta-Energy’s proprietary rCB product, D-E Black, partially replaces virgin carbon black, which is a material whose global demand and consumption is increasing and is made from petroleum products using a highly polluting combustion process. D-E Black is produced from end-of-life tires using its patented DE Polymerization Process, which emits 81 percent less CO2 per ton compared to virgin carbon black. Since 2017, BSAM has procured over 1,800 tonnes of recycled carbon black for use in the tire manufacturing process. BSAM is continually assessing new opportunities to expand the use of D-E Black in new and existing products.

Air Free Concept

The Bridgestone Group’s Air Free Concept has a unique structure of spokes stretching along the inner sides of the tire that support the weight of the vehicle. With this technology, there is no need to periodically refill the tires with air, resulting in less tire maintenance, improved safety and eliminating the worry of tire punctures.

The spoke structure is made of resin*1 and, along with the rubber in the tread portion, the materials used in the tires are recyclable, contributing to the efficient use of resources. The Bridgestone Group believes that it is possible to achieve even higher levels of environmental performance by developing lower rolling resistance and reducing CO2 emissions using proprietary technologies. Through technological development, the Group aims to achieve a cradle-to-cradle process that proactively maximizes the cyclic use of resources from worn tires into new tires and the use of recyclable resources.

  1. A synthetic resin that becomes flexible when heated, can be processed into a variety of shapes, and becomes hard when cooled. The changes from heating and cooling can generally be repeated, making it easy to both mold and recycle the material.

Recycle and reuse 100% of aluminum scrap

Recycling aluminum scrap is another major initiative to reuse solid waste. In collaboration with an aluminum alloys manufacture company, Tire Mold Thailand (TMOT) has begun recycling 100 percent of aluminum scrap and reusing recycled aluminum ingots in mold manufacturing process for tires. In 2020, TMOT recycled and reused 178 tonnes of aluminum.

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