A dynamic integrated analysis of truck tires in Western Europe

Pieter J.H. Van Beukering, Marco A. Janssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


By evaluating tires from a perspective of industrial metabolism, potential novel and practical ways to reduce their environmental impact can be found. This may be achieved by focusing on technological issues such as choosing materials, designing products, and recovering materials, or by looking at institutional and social barriers and incentives such as opening waste markets or changing consumer behavior. A model is presented for the life cycle of truck tires in Western Europe that is dynamic in nature and values both environmental and economic consequences. Various scenarios are simulated including longer tire lifetimes, better maintenance of tire pressure, increased use of less-expensive Asian tires, and increased use of fuel efficiency-enhancing tires ("eco-tires"). Tentative results indicate that, among other things, more than 95% of the overall environmental impact during the life of a tire occurs during the use of the tire, due to the impact of tires on automotive fuel efficiency. Better maintenance of tire pressure and use of eco-tires produce greater environmental and economics benefits than more-durable and/or less-expensive (Asian) tires. These results imply that the emphasis in environmental policies related to tires should shift from the production and the waste stages to the consumption stage. It also suggests that the focus on materials throughput and associated improvements through factor 4 or factor 10 advances in reduction in mass are less important than the quality of the tires and their management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-115
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamic simulation modeling
  • Industrial metabolism
  • Life-cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Recycling
  • Scenario analysis
  • Tires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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