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Alessandro du Besse'

Innovation

Tyre Collective Prevents Microplastic Pollution From Tires

The startup is developing a device that can collect tire debris, the second-largest cause of plastic pollution on the planet

Published: Monday, October 3, 2022 - 11:01

(Tyre Collective: London) -- While you drive, your tires wear and leave dangerous microplastic around. The Tyre Collective is a startup launched with a mission to capture and monitor plastic pollution from tires, accelerating the shift toward zero-emission mobility.

Even on electric or hydrogen-powered cars, tires will still have a negative impact on the environment in the form of plastic pollution. According to the Tyre Collective, when vehicles accelerate, brake, or corner, their tires can cause serious plastic pollution. Tires are actually the second-largest microplastic pollutant in our oceans, and an invisible source of air pollution as well.

Ironically, switching to electric vehicles will have a negative effect and increase tire-related plastic pollution because electric vehicles are, on average, heavier than gas-powered vehicles; they also have more torque. Weight and torque put more stress on the tires and cause more wear. 

The Tyre Collective is developing the first on-vehicle device to capture tire wear at the source. Its technology uses electrostatics and airflow to attract tire particles. Once captured, these particles are processed and can be upcycled in new tire production, creating a circular economy, closed-loop system. Other applications include other rubber products, soundproofing, inks, and dyes.

Microplastic from tires has only recently been considered a pollutant. In 2019, the death of a large number of salmon on the U.S. West Coast was linked to microplastics from tires. The same year in the U.K., the Department for Transport and Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) issued a call for action on tire emissions.

The Tyre Collective has a serious goal, So far, emission standards have only been focused on exhaust emissions. The startup would like regulators to consider tire wear as well. The Tyre Collective also aims for its device to become a standard feature of all vehicles, just like anti-pollutant filters on exhaust pipes.

With carmakers among the slowest and most conservative industries, this all might take some time. But considering the dangers related to microplastic pollution, we should all support the Tyre Collective initiative.

This article was first published on September 15, 2022, by Impakter.

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About The Author

Alessandro du Besse'’s picture

Alessandro du Besse'

Alessandro du Bessé is the general manager of ImpakterUP, as well as Impakter’s tech editor. He has degrees in both law and political science.