Tires may seem to be an unlikely eco-product. But guess again - according to a new market report from Smithers Rapra, the global market for 'green tires' will reach $70.6 billion by 2017, up from $44.8 billion in 2012 (28% of the total tire market).
So what is a green tire?
It's a tire that is optimized for low rolling resistance and/or in which renewably-sourced materials, especially elastomers, have been used to manufacture it. Currently, the largest sector of the green tire market is for low rolling resistance tires, which the Smithers Rapra report refers to as 'energy tires'.
The rapid increase in the value of the green tire sector is due, in part, to growth in the tire market itself - the result of the fast-rising levels of car ownership in the emerging economies, particularly in Asia. However, the main driver is claimed to be increased interest in green issues: concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and the availability of resources to meet growing demands appear to be fuelling the green tire trend....