Tyres: the microplastic polluter that goes unseen!
Tyres are the invisible micro-plastic polluters, that is one of the leading contributors to hazardous pollution, climate change and deforestation.
Why do these microplastic polluters go unseen even when it’s there right in front of our eyes?
Today tyres are one of the primary contributors, of microplastic wastes that get dumped in landfills; these tyres also release toxic chemicals in the landfills if it is deposited for a longer duration, as it is a non-biodegradable waste, and not just lands but when the rubber wears off from the tyres, it releases tiny plastic polymers that often end up in oceans and waterway, polluting them, causing water pollution along.
What are tyres made of?
Even today many people are unaware of the materials used to create tyres, they think that tyres are just made of rubbers, which is partially true. For the safety, durability and performance purpose there are many more materials used to create and manufacture tyre other than rubber.
To manufacture a tyre, usually, four types of rubber are used. The most common is the natural rubber, that is the latex soap found in the bark of the rubber tree.
The remaining three are the synthetically produced rubbers those are plastic polymer, that is Styrene-butadiene, Polybutadiene rubber and Butyl rubber, these synthetic form of rubber increases the percentage of carbon footprints around us.
‘Today tyres consist of 19% natural rubber and 24% per cent synthetic rubbers.’
Apart from rubbers, tyre manufactures use fillers, that is either carbon black or silica, to formulate tire compounds. The manufacturers cannot avoid using these fillers as they are good for enhancing tyre grip, resisting tyre punctures and gives it a lower rolling resistance.
No matter how useful these components are to manufacture a tyre, these are equally or even more harmful for the environment.
Tyres have become a necessity today because of which we cannot avoid creating them and there haven’t been any alternatives found yet, so the best we can do is recreate, recycle or upcycle these tyres into something new.
How to increase life of car tyres by recycling/upcycling?
1. Tyre shoe soles: As tyres are good for maintaining its grip and resistance, it can act as one of the best product to create shoe soles, this won’t just help in reducing tyre pollution but will also help in maintaining the durability of a shoe for the longest period possible.
2. Tyre swings: As tyres are incredibly strong it can act as a great medium to create a swing as this won’t create a weight limitation for anyone and along with children, it will also bring a great source of entertainment in the life of adults besides technology.
3. Tyre table and chairs: Instead of wasting resources to manufacture a new table, why don’t we just recycle or upcycle tyres to create that table? This will help us in saving and preserving the resources that otherwise would have been wasted to create a new one.
4.Tyre planter: Tyres can become a great source of container for plants, as it is water-resistant and does not degrade fast. This method helps in maintaining your garden and plants as it can be easily filled with good quality soil and does not ask for use of any pesticides.