Last week we discovered through discussing the BBC news article about car tyre and brake dust that tyres affect air quality significantly because of particulate matter and account for up to 30% of microplastics in our rivers and sea. The crazy thing is that tyres are completely unregulated against a backdrop of regulation for tailpipe emissions (see here unece report).
It turns out they have very little natural rubber left in them and have some pretty nasty carcinogenic oil derivatives. The particulate matter does not break down quickly and studies have shown that a decent amount is airborne and can be taken directly into the organs causing all types of horrible disease, including cancer.
There is also the added end-of-life impact. 15% end up in landfill, 34% go to construction and 46% get burnt. The evidence is that this is a major contributor to climate change and causes appalling air quality issues.
Tyres seem like a massive issue, especially when there is no real incentive for tyre companies (earning more than the car industry) to change their practices. The ready advice is buy long lasting tyres, but that doesn’t get rid of the end-of-life issue.
Can people share what they know about this:
- Did you know this problem existed and what will you do about it? (polls below)
- Have you found tyre companies that address the issues? If so, what are the costs and benefits and how do we get hold of those tyres?
- Do you think we should just do something different? Move freight by rail instead of road, ditch cars all together?
- What policy should be in place to tackle this issue?
Chip in on this topic of the week - even if it is to tell us that you simply didn’t know about this issue…