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Products made from tire waste

UK start-up The Tyre Collective teamed up with various designers and artists to explore how tire particles that come off car tires as they drive on roads can be used in products.

As cars drive, microscopic pieces of tire, made of synthetic rubber, wear off. Tire wear is the second-largest source of microplastics in oceans and particulate air pollution. The Tyre Collection designed the first device that captures these particles to reduce plastic pollution. You can read more about the project here.

But once you capture all this pollution, what can you do with it? During the Material Matters fair (20-23 September 2023), the collective showcased a few products, made in collaboration with designers and artists.

London-based artist and designer Rafael El Baz designed a mushroom lamp made with the material, by experimenting with different compositions that could be made my mixing the rubber particles with materials such as resin and jesmonite. A semi-translucent, rubber-speckled resin was used as the base of lamp.

Designer Qiang Li, who works for the jewellery brand MuseLi-Q, used the tire wear in a mix with resin and recycled sterling silver to create rings and a brooch.

Madrid-based Studio Lowpoly used custom-made filaments for 3D printing, made with 20 per cent tire particles and recycled PLA. The objects include a vase, speaker, lamp and an acoustic panel, all fabricated with a robotic arm 3D printer.

Finally, the collective worked with the Material for Sustainability research group, which explored how tire wear can be used in functional applications, like batteries. Carbonised tyre particles are made into a slurry and coated on a copper foil, cut and combined with other components to make a battery coin cell.

Photos: The Tyre Collective

Sigrid Lussenburg