Environment | Value natural resources
Recycling end-of-life tires Value natural resources

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Our Approach

End-of-Life Tires (ELT) Global Recovery Rates*2

End-of-life passenger tires*1 and truck and bus radial tires (TBR) are beneficially recycled and recovered at higher rates than aluminum cans, glass, cardboard and paper. Beneficial uses include construction materials, landscaping mulch, floor mats and even components in new tires, and utilized as alternative fuel.

Around the world, the Bridgestone Group is developing innovative approaches to further their reuse, including:

•Bridgestone Costa Rica’s B-Happy Eco-Parks program uses end-of-life tires to create playgrounds in parks and education centers. So far, over 32 playgrounds have been created in El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama since 2012.

•Through a joint research project with the Industrial Transformation Research Program in Australia, Bridgestone Australia is investigating the use of used tires*3 for various rail track components, including ballast and subgrade for improving the durability of ballasted rail tracks.

  1. The Bridgestone Group defines end-of-life tire as used tire that cannot be used for driving as itself or retreaded
  2. Industry-wide data based on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
    https://docs.wbcsd.org/2018/02/ELT_Fact_Sheet.pdf
  3. The Bridgestone Group defines used tire as tire removed from vehicle after-use

Reducing environmental impact of end-of-life tires through WBCSD

According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBSCD) Tire Industry Project (TIP), the world is projected to generate approximately one billion end-of-life tires each year. We recognize that reducing the environmental impact of end-of-life tires is an important common issue within the tire industry.

Bridgestone has been involved in the WBCSD TIP since its launch in 2006. As a world’s leading tire and rubber company, we seek to drive efforts to form a sustainable society in cooperation with other companies in the industry. The TIP aims to develop an effective management system for end-of-life tires by encouraging related industries and governments in various countries to appropriately manage end-of-life tires and reduce their environmental impact. TIP published best practices and a summary from global survey including 51 countries that cover 89% of vehicles in the world.

Recycling Used Tires in Japan

Japan Automobile Tire Manufacturers Association (JATMA) and many others in the tire industry are working towards reducing and recycling used tires, contributing to the development of a circular economy. Specific measures concentrate on monitoring tire recycling status and measures to prevent illegal accumulation and dumping of used tires. According to a JATMA survey, the 2018 beneficial reuse rate of used tires in Japan was 97%, and we are keen to continue to improve this percentage and reduce the environmental impact of used tires in Japan through joint activities with JATMA.

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Facility for used tire recycling in Japan

Bridgestone Tire Japan (BTJ) operates the Bridgestone Tire Recycle Center Osaka. The center combines the functionality to manufacture retreaded tires and repurpose end-of-life tires in a single location. The center also facilitates the collection, reuse and repurposing of tires from Osaka prefecture and parts of Kyoto, Hyogo, Shiga and Wakayama Prefectures.

The center won the 3R Promotion Council President’s Prize at the Fiscal 2015 3R Promotion Merit Awards in Japan. We remain committed to achieving sustainable ELT management.

Collaboration with the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association

As a core member of the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), Bridgestone Americas is working with them to compile a shared vision for a sustainable US tire manufacturing industry that can advance safe, sustainable mobility for the future.

That quest involves promoting environmentally and economically sound options for repurposing tires once their on-vehicle use is over in various ways from construction material to fuel, maximizing the value of used tires, and alleviating the environment impact of tires through responsible end-of-life management.

Since its launch in 1990, the USTMA has worked together with states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the industry to reduce scrap tire stockpiles and implement regulations that foster sustainable used tire markets. The association also offers technical information on end-of-life tire management, and hosts used tire conferences for regulators, recyclers, industry and other stakeholders.

USTMA members operate manufacturing facilities in 17 states, employ nearly 100,000 workers and generate annual sales of more than $27 billion.

USTMA | End-of-Life Tire Management

Tires4ward

In the U.S., Bridgestone Americas has committed to the beneficial reuse of the end-of-life tires removed from vehicles at Company-owned retail stores. In addition, through the Tires4ward program, Bridgestone Americas offers free end-of-life tire collection and recycling during community-organized clean-up events at rivers, lakes and other public waterways. Our goal is that all used tires returned to Company-owned retail stores get a beneficial next use.

Collecting discarded tires

Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO) has pursued its Tires4ward program since 2012. This initiative includes supporting the free recovery and beneficial reuse of tires discarded in parks and rivers through a partnership with the River Network volunteer organization. We have supported over 700 regional cleanup initiatives across the U.S. and collected over 200,000 discarded tires. We are a sustaining sponsor of the River Rally and the River Network. We are currently expanding our community-involvement initiatives from the U.S. to South and Central America and will look to extend the programs even further beyond that.

Tires4ward Tire Recycling Program

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