Using worn-out tires by creating innovative materials
Michelin also invests heavily in R&D to find excellent and innovative solutions to use worn-out tires in new products, such as roads, or for energy, such as heating in cities or our production plants.
This is why in October 2017 Michelin acquired the American company Lehigh Technologies, which is specialized in the design and production of innovative products made from end-of-life tires and other rubber-based industrial products.
Lehigh Technologies designs and produces recycled raw materials with high technological value. These new materials, called micronized rubber powders (MRP), can be directly incorporated into the new tire production process. They are created using cryogenic grinding technology that can transform end-of-life tires. The resulting material is inexpensive, high-performance and durable and can be substituted for other components used to make tires, plastic, asphalt and construction materials. Michelin’s subsidiary Lehigh Technologies received the @thecirculars award for Circular Economy SME in early 2019 in recognition of its approach to using end-of-life tires. To date, Lehigh has helped keep more than 500m tires out of landfills and has recycled 60,000 metric tons a year of worn-out tires.
Our ambitions for 2050 and beyond
In the long term, our goal is to use 100% sustainable, recycled and renewable materials. We are also doing everything we can with all our partner industries to ensure that 100% of end-of-life tires are repurposed (either through recycling or through energy) by 2050: in other words, we want all end-of-life tires to be recovered and used by tire recycling and other industries.
Michelin is committed to substantially reducing its waste production by 25% between 2005 and 2020.
From decommissioned manufacturing waste to industrial waste, waste production has a major impact on the destruction of our planet’s resources and increases the risks of air and water pollution.
To meet its goal, the Group is focusing on the behaviors of each and every employee. Individual proposals have been implemented to optimize recycling and the development of best practices at our production sites in Italy, France and Poland.