BANBURY, England—Retreading is an extraordinarily useful technology, but its reputation lags behind its utility, according to a new report from England.
"The best and highest use for a used tire is to be used again as a tire...or as a raw material...for a retread," states the report, "Retreading: Safety, Environment & Economy," from the Banbury-based Waste & Resources Action Programme.
"Unfortunately, retreads have a bad reputation," the report said. "They do not deserve it. But, in many cases, it is perpetuated by new tire distributors selling low-cost imports that compete with retreads."
The report quotes such organizations as the U.S.´s Tire Retread Information Bureau and the United Kingdom´s Retread Manufacturers Association on the usefulness of retreading, retreading technologies and efforts to promote the use of retreads.
According to the U.K. group, there are 40 retreaders in the U.K. manufacturing about 1 million truck retreads and 800,000 passenger and small commercial retreads every year. Those retreads saved the U.K. nearly 102 million liters of oil in 2005, or 68 liters per truck retread and 21 per passenger retread, the report states.
Retreading also halves the per-kilometer cost of using tires and cuts natural resource and energy use during the manufacturing process by about two-thirds, according to the report. The safety record of retreading, it adds, can be judged by the fact that nearly all the world´s airlines and off-road vehicles, as well as nearly all U.S. Postal Service vehicles, run on retreads.
The report also recommends accessing the TRIB and Retread Manufacturers Association Web sites for complete information on retreads.
WRAP is a not-for-profit organization, funded substantially by U.K. government money, whose main goal is to create stable, efficient markets for recycled materials and products. To download free copies of this and other tire-related WRAP reports, contact http://www.wrap.org.uk/materials/tyres.