Sounds like a good plan
When one hears the name 'Michelin' you either think of performance car tires or really expensive restaurants. What you don't think about is carbon neutrality, global warming, and environmental causes. Well, the French tire company is looking to change that perception. Michelin last year developed the world's first carbon-neutral tire called the e.Primacy that has started rolling out to global markets, but the company wants to go one step further by removing harmful plastics from the environment, and more specifically, by manufacturing tires out of recycled plastic bottles. Michelin has set a goal of achieving 40% sustainable materials by 2030 and wants to be fully carbon neutral by 2050.
Michelin is better known for developing high-performance tires for cars like the record-breaking Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+, but the times are changing, and traditional sports car manufacturers such as Porsche and Audi are now delivering eco-friendly warriors such as the Audi RS e-tron GT and blistering Porsche Taycan. Michelin sees this as a chance to grow and plans on recycling nearly 3 billion plastic bottles a year. Working with French biochemistry company Carbios, Michelin believes that it has a way of transforming these bottles into tires. By using a certain enzyme to depolymerize polyethylene terephthalate (PET) the resulting high-tenacity polyester can be used for tires due to its high thermal stability and breakage resistance.
"These high-tech reinforcements have demonstrated their ability to provide performance identical to those from the oil industry," said Nicolas Seeboth, director of polymer research at Michelin, in a statement. There is still no word on what applications these tires will be suitable for, and how much it will cost to produce, but if Michelin can crack this process, it will herald a new era for transport, manufacturing, and the future of mankind. Way to go Michelin.