Manufacturer Nokian Tyres has announced the Green Step concept, a winter tire produced using 93% recycled or renewable materials.
“Drivers are more and more interested in the sustainability of their tires, and this creates demand for us to create tires [to] these standards,” said Jouko Ilomäki, development manager, Nokian Tyres. “It also puts pressure on the industry to develop more eco-friendly materials, as well as for tire manufacturing technology to adapt to these materials.”
All of the rubber used for the production of the Green Step concept is natural, in addition to the use of renewable oils like canola oil and plasticizers, resins and processing aids also from renewable sources. For the main filler for the tire’s tread and sidewall, Nokian utilized natural rice husk ash silica and a renewable cord fiber for added strength.
Carbon black used within the rubber compounds was derived from end-of-life tires, while the butyl used in the tire’s inner surface and the steel belts and beads are mostly from recycled sources.
The company aims to have 50% of all raw materials used in its tires recycled or renewable by 2030, and the Green Step concept puts the company one step closer to this goal.
“We believe that using recycled rubber and especially recycled carbon black will be a future trend in tire manufacturing: by the year 2030, we will have multiple new suppliers and more advanced technology,” said Ilomäki. “Also, the demand for raw materials with either recycled or renewed components will increase. We are very happy to be able to corporate so many recycled elements in the Green Step already.”
“Many of the sustainable innovations found in the Green Step are already used in our tires, and regular drivers have been able to benefit from them for years,” commented Teemu Soini, senior manager, materials development, Nokian Tyres. “We made new innovations during the process of designing the Green Step and they will be incorporated in the future tires offered to consumers all around the globe. We wanted to explore the limits of our sustainable innovation capabilities and the result was the Green Step.”