Continental has developed the first tires produced with polyester yarn obtained from recycled plastic bottlesbecoming the first tire manufacturer to launch this type of product, as reported by the company.
Continental presented in September 2021 for the first time the ‘ContiRe.Tex’ technology, which uses polyester yarn obtained from used PET bottles without any intermediate chemical steps and that cannot be recycled in any other way.
Within a special recycling process, the bottles are sorted and mechanically cleaned, after removing the caps. After mechanical grinding, the PET is transformed into granules and, finally, into polyester yarn. Thanks to this technology, it is calculated that for each set of tires 40 PET bottles are being recycled.
This new high-performance material will first be used in selected dimensions for Continental’s ‘PremiumContact 6’ and ‘EcoContact 6’ summer tires and the ‘AllSeasonContact’ all-season tyre, completely replacing conventional polyester in the shell.
All the tires with ‘ContiRe.Tex’ technology that are being produced come from Continental’s tire plant in Lousado (Portugal) and They have a special identifying logo on the side that reads ‘Contains recycled material’.
“At Continental we only use high-performance materials in our tires and, from now on, they will include polyester yarn from PET bottles“, has pointed out the head of Continental’s Replacement Tire business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Ferdinand Hoyos.
Hoyos has also highlighted the speed of the process, since in only eight months the ‘ContiRe.Tex’ technology has been taken to the production phase. “I am very proud of our entire team for this remarkable achievement,” he said. In addition, he has shared some of the company’s goals for the year 2050, such as ensuring that only sustainable materials are used in tire production.
Polyester yarn made from PET has long been used as a mounting material for passenger car and light truck tires. Among its advantages, it should be noted that its textile cords absorb the forces of internal tire pressure and remain dimensionally stable even under high loads and temperatures. Regarding energy savings, Continental is continuously working on the development of alternative materials to produce “more efficient and environmentally friendly” tires.