Capturing tyre dust, a major source of microplastic pollution
Some 28% microplastic pollutant in our oceans comes from an unexpected source - tyre dust. A single car produces around 2.08g of tyre dust each day, and the microplastics this dust contains make their way into our waterways, pollute the air we breathe and contaminate our food. It is estimated that we eat around a credit card’s worth of plastic per week.
The Tyre Collective addresses this problem by collecting the tyre dust at source. The group of four, who met at Imperial College London during their master’s studies, realised that the dust coming off the wheels was positively charged and so could be collected using electrostatics, and then reused to make other products; including new tyres, inks and the soles of shoes.
Electric vehicles tend to be on average 25% heavier than their petrol counterparts, and therefore generate larger volumes of tyre dust, so Tyre Collective's innovative approach is a timely intervention to what has been, until now, something of an unknown problem.