Few know that car tyres are unseen mega polluters. They're a stealthy source of microplastics in our environment, which emit powdery particles as they’re worn down on roads. Car tyre dust is now a major source of microplastic waste in our oceans, with one study putting it at 28%.
Source: Institute for Polar & Marine Research
Living in Lisbon means we’re in daily contact with our ocean. As part of an ongoing series of studio projects—called BeHalf on behalf of the planet and with Mother Earth as our client—we're campaigning against ocean plastic.
Future vehicle pollution will not come from the tailpipe, but from tyres. And a lot this will end up in the ocean.
That is why we've teamed up with The Tyre Collective—who are working towards mitigating emissions by capturing microplastics at the source, stopping them from entering our environment.
Developed at Imperial College and the Royal College of Art, the Tyre Collective have designed a product which uses electrostatics to capture tyre wear in action.
The device is positioned close to where the tyre touches the road, taking advantage of various air flows around a spinning wheel. Captured particulates are gathered in a removable storage unit. Once collected, these fragments are processed and can be reused, creating a closed-loop system. Particles under 50 microns are small enough to be reused in new tyre production; while other applications include 3D printing, soundproofing, and inks and dyes.
"We're thrilled to be working alongside Cat and her team on the Deadly Dust Campaign to raise awareness on tyre wear, a stealthy source of microplastic pollution.
"Tackling the complex problem of tyre wear requires bringing people across disciplines and industries, working together to truly make an impact. We're really excited to see How & How tackling it in such an innovative way."
The Tyre Collective