Circular Economy and Positive Carbon – Case Study, Rethread Industry US and Latin America

by Lorena del Pilar Munoz (presenting author)

Universidad Vina del Mar, Chile

Human activities have a significant ecological footprint. Humankind needs 1,7 planets every year representing an increasing pressure on natural resources and energy use. OCDE perspectives indicate a need to reduce GHG emissions in order to keep climate change under safe boundaries, 30% by 2030 and 50% by 2050. The world needs urgent actions with a potential impact on Global GDP of 5,5% by 2050. We need new economical models allowing an evolution from linear to circular economy, and finally to green economy in order to improve and increase flows of environmental assets from the economy to the environment.

One alternative is to improve life cycles reducing negative externalities and waste and improve life cycles resulting in positive carbon emissions. Part of the phenomena is to treat the facts as a whole lifecycle, where Coase transaction costs and Nordhaus SCC need to be considered.

Rethread allows the reuse of a worn tyre replacing the old tread band with a new one. The rethread pneumatic gains a new life. Tyre suppliers prepare it casings to allow between 5 to 6 rethread processes.

Fieldwork and data collection (two years) were practice and information of tyre industry was available. Facilities were audited (US, Chile and Argentina) and statistical information was collected (Brazil, Mexico and Colombia). Three scenarios were defined: lifecycle with/without rethread activity, comparison of two quality tyre (high and low quality trade marks).

After evaluation results showed lifecycle generates a positive carbon emission that goes from 165 to 172kgCO2e/truck tyre processed. This represents between 2 to 4% of countries cap objectives to Paris Agreement, implicating also an increase of GDP (through SCC) and increasing ROI (through creation of environmental assets).

Results shown that total inclusion of costs of this lifecycle (including environmental liabilities and assets) show the real competitiveness of a sustainable lifecycle.