How car tires drive deforestation | DW Documentary

How car tires drive deforestation | DW Documentary

How car tires drive deforestation | DW Documentary

Rainforests are sacrificed to provide the rubber used in tires, even though alternatives exist. 70% of the global rubber harvest goes to the tire industry, which must now meet new supply chain rules approved by the European Parliament in April 2024.

The rules are designed to ensure due diligence and corporate accountability. Once the law takes effect, manufacturers in the EU will need to show their tires do not contain natural rubber from deforested land. The likes of Continental and Michelin will be obliged to make their supply chains more transparent. This certification process poses a problem for producers. Most natural rubber is produced in Asia. The supply chains from rubber farmers through various intermediaries to Europe have, however, been largely nontransparent to date. Companies are therefore exploring alternative materials and methods.

Tire manufacturer Pirelli, for example, is working with sustainable producers in Thailand. Michelin is testing high-tech tires to increase the service life of its products. And Continental, in cooperation with a leading German research institute, is looking into a raw material that could act as a substitute: the Russian dandelion. If cultivated on a large scale in Europe, it could help offset the demand for natural rubber. In addition, discarded old tires could be retreaded, recycled, and put back on the market – instead of ending up on a landfill site. Is the industry having a genuine change of heart, or are these merely examples of greenwashing?

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Video “How car tires drive deforestation | DW Documentary” was uploaded on 05/23/2024 by DW Documentary Youtube channel.