A commercial vehicle fleet with a retread tyre policy uses 3 times less resource and 4 times fewer tyres than a company buying single life tyres. Retreaded tyres are made to the same exacting standards as new ones and are widely used on aircraft as well as trucks and buses. 95% of truck tyre retreads used in the UK are made in the UK: the industry supports 5,500 jobs, many in deprived areas.
However, in the last 7 years the market share of retreaded truck tyres has declined by over 30% under pressure from subsidised short-lived single-life tyres from China. Following international agreement to counter illegal subsidies on truck tyres from China, UK retreaders are determined to rebuild the market share of retreaded truck tyres towards its historic level approaching 50%. This would save at least 400,000 truck tyres per year.
Government has recognised the importance of retreading to the circular economy and its potential for future growth. BTMA members are committed to redoubling customer communication but government must incentivise the changes in customer behaviour needed to develop a more circular economy.
Measures are needed to encourage:
- increased use of retreaded tyres
- purchase of longer-lived re-treadable tyres
- improved care of tyres in service (to maximise first life and secure the supply of used tyres suitable for retreading).