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Activities and Initiatives

End of Life

 A tire that dissolves into components

We believe that circular economy is the model of the future. Our ambitious goal is to increase the use of sustainable materials in our tire products to 100 percent by 2050 at the latest. In this context, 60 percent of the materials used in tire production are to be recycled from tires by 2050 at the latest. 

Selected Activities

As experts in hot and cold retreading for truck tires, we enable rubber from old tires to be returned to the production process for new tires and retreading thanks to our unique recycling technologies.

Continental’s worldwide retreading operations are a perfect example of smart circular economy solutions. When truck tires are retreaded, the rubber removed from the treads is regenerated and used for new rubber compounds.

Retreading truck tires cuts CO2 emissions, land use and air pollution and reduces the consumption of water and other natural resources. Compared with a new tire, a retreaded tire saves on material by up to 70 percent, cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 24 percent and reduces water use by 19 percent (Source: E&Y, 2016)

Continental also relies on the mechanical processing of end-of-life tires. Rubber, steel and textile cord in particular are separated, in a highly sophisticated process, from one another. The rubber is then prepared for re-use as part of new rubber compounds.

Continental has a long history of working consistently to introduce end-of-life tires into the circular economy to conserve resources and the environment. A material known as “Conti-Reclaim” has been obtained as part of the truck tire retreading process at the company’s plant in Stöcken in Hanover since 2013. It has been used in tire production at Continental for years. To expand the range of applications for the recycled rubber and optimize the properties for the various fields of application, Continental uses not only “Conti-Reclaim” but also recycled rubber from other suppliers.

During pyrolysis, mainly oil, gas and carbon are recovered from end-of-life tires, which can then be used for various purposes. Among other things, pyrolysis oil can be used to produce new raw materials.

In order to further optimize and expand the recycling of end-of-life tires through pyrolysis, Continental has signed a development agreement with Pyrum Innovations.

Pyrum breaks down end-of-life tires from Continental into their individual components in industrial furnaces using a special pyrolysis process. In this way, valuable raw materials contained in end-of-life tires can be extracted and recycled.

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REG (Reifen-Entsorgungsgesellschaft, German for “tire disposal company”) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Continental. REG enables us to offer our customers an experienced and expert partner for the disposal and recycling of scrap rubber and other resources. We are working continuously to develop various recycling alternatives for our products.

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Other Activities and Initiatives