German tire giant Continental wants to source the polyester it needs from used plastic bottles Recycling, an activity once associated with empty milk cartons and hippies, is getting a corporate makeover. Last week, tire giant Continental announced it will use reprocessed polyester taken from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles in its tire production starting in 2022. The raw materials for the polyester — a type of plastic — traditionally used in tire manufacturing is derived from crude oil and natural gas. Making a complete set of vehicle tires will make use of more than 60 recycled PET bottles. In lab and road testing, tires made with polyester fibers obtained from bottles performed as well as tires made with traditional fibers. "With the use of recycled polyester yarn, we are taking another important step in the direction of cross-product circular economy," Andreas Topp, Continental’s head of materials, process development and industrialization for tires, said in a press release. The circular economy is an economic system that aims to keep products and materials in use for longer, thereby increasing their productivity and reducing waste. A widespread uptake of the system could yield economic benefits valuing as much as $4.5 trillion (€3.8 […]


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