Wastefront AS, the Norwegian waste tire recycling company, has announced a strategic partnership with innovative EV tire company ENSO, which will see ENSO incorporate Wastefront’s recycled carbon black (rCB) in its tires from 2024.

Wastefront, which secured planning permission in January 2022 to build a £100 million tire recycling plant at The Port of Sunderland, will also provide UK-based ENSO with a recycling outlet for its used tires, as part of its Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

"No longer do we have the luxury of making a product and forgetting about it the moment it leaves the factory. To be considered ethical, businesses must be accountable to future generations with respect to the products they make today, and how we dispose of them when they reach the end of their useful lives.

“This is why we are teaming up with ENSO, a tire maker of the future, and a company which understands and endorses the dual needs of technological innovation in tire design, and the overwhelming need to recycle and reuse the materials they are made from.”

ENSO CEO, Gunnlaugur Eriendsson adds: “The environmental impact of tires is significant, particularly when it comes to EVs, yet to date this problem has been largely overlooked. The word ‘ENSO’ in Japanese means a hand-drawn circle that symbolises strength, elegance, and the circularity of nature. ENSO’s mission is to work in harmony with nature to make better EV tires, delivering more range and less tire pollution, based on the circular economy. Our partnership with Wastefront is an important further step towards this mission, and a perfect example of a circular approach to recycling end-of-life EV tires, and reusing their recovered carbon black in new EV tires.”

The two companies have also set up a technical collaboration between their respective R&D teams to develop more sustainable solutions for EV tire manufacturing, which will focus on the following priorities:

  • Accelerating better ways to use recovered carbon black (rCB), as a substitute for virgin carbon black from fossil-fuels.
  • Developing and utilising recovered carbon black’s properties, to increase EV tire performance.
  • Increasing the percentage of recycled materials in tires, paving the way for new environmental guidelines.
  • Reducing the content of toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) in tires.

ENSO is based in London and backed by more than 1,200 British investors, the largest being the UK Government via the UK Future Fund. The company is working with leading EV carmakers, as well as large EV fleets, including a partnership with the Mayor of London, Transport for London, DPD and Royal Mail, to test its range-extending, low-emission tires on last-mile EV delivery fleets. ENSO will soon launch its London Hub, equipping its range-extending EV tires on the iconic LEVC London electric taxi, before rolling-out towards EV fleets (B2B) and individual EV owners (B2C).

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