German automotive part manufacturer Continental has announced that its tires containing polyester made from recycled PET bottles are now available to all dealers in Europe.
Continental tires use the company’s so-called ContiRe.Tex technology, which can completely replace the conventional polyester in the tire carcass. Unveiled in September 2021 for the first time, the technology uses high-performance polyester yarn, which is obtained from used PET bottles without any intermediate chemical steps and is not recycled in any other way. This makes the technology both eco-friendly and much more efficient than other standard methods for processing PET bottles into high-performance polyester yarns.
The plastic bottles used for the technology come exclusively from regions without a closed recycling loop. As part of a special recycling process, these bottles are sorted and mechanically cleaned after the caps are removed. After mechanical shredding, the PET is further processed into granulate and finally spun polyester yarn.
Continental says a set of standard passenger car tires uses the material from around 40 recycled PET bottles. The Continental tires are reliable and remain dimensionally stable at high temperatures and under high loads.
Recently, the company has been awarded the “Tire Manufacturer of the Year” prize by the international trade magazine Tire Technology International (TTI). Its ContiRe.Tex technology has been in series production since April 2022. Currently, the premium tire manufacturer offers three models in five dimensions, each with polyester made from recycled PET bottles: the PremiumContact 6, the EcoContact 6, and the all-season tire AllSeasonContact. All tires with ContiRe.Tex technology come with a “Contains Recycled Material” (CRM) logo on the sidewall.