A Dirty Business – Making Billions In Tire Industry
Summertime is vacation time! Many people across the globe travel to different destinations during summer vacation. And, the research shows that most of them like to drive, even to a distant holiday destination! When it comes to road safety, the tire is of course of paramount importance. More than 100 million tires are sold in a year alone! It is a multi-billion dollar business.
But, where do the tire come from? And, under what conditions are tires produced?
Whenever you go to replace the tires a question that naturally comes to everyone’s mind is – tires from which company are the most durable? And, what is the cost of a tire? But not once has any one of us ever asked under what conditions, in which country are these tires produced. Whether or not the conditions of production are sustainable. These sorts of questions never come to a buyer’s mind.
Now, you may think that this is the manufacturer’s responsibility. But, as a responsible buyer, some responsibility also lies with us. If we as customers do not purchase tires harmful to the environment then the companies won’t have any option but to opt for environment-friendly production methods.
A general conception is the big name manufacturers place a lot of importance on sustainability. But then because the cost is too high, a normal buyer avoids branded tires. What about the companies which operated on a local level? They, too, are aware of the environmental issues. So, do they follow the guidelines for sustainable productions?
Tires are now produced all over the world. Countries like Japan, China, the Czech Republic, and many more are some leading producers of rubber tires. Thailand, a country located in Southeast Asia, is the world’s biggest producer of natural rubber. More than 4 million tons of rubber are harvested on its plantations each year, mind-boggling, isn’t it? Over the last 30 years, the production here is grown by 300%. This tire industry contributes to a vast chunk of Thailand’s GDP.
From rubber plantations to the refined and perfect rubber tire. This quite a process. The whole world is heavily dependent on the tire industry. From tires for regular vehicles to tires of planes and other heavy vehicles, the world needs tires. In many countries, there is a legal obligation of recycling the tire. But even after recycling a better part of the tire is left out, thereby contributing to environmental pollution. Even after so many disposal methods available, most of the waste is given to cement works which burn the tire for fuel – catastrophic for the environment. So to conclude, it is time when we need to rethink our choices while buying a new tire!
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