TIP’s scientific research helps develop understanding of TRWP, but what about action on the ground, such as mitigation?
TIP’s ongoing program of research is also relevant to guiding mitigation strategies toward an evidence-based approach. This includes the modelling of TRWP fate and transport in soil, air, rivers, and oceans, and environmental sampling to validate models. It also includes studying the degradation of TRWP in the environment, and investigating any potential impacts of long-term exposure of organisms to TRWP.
We therefore actively share the methods and results of our research with both the scientific community and other TRWP stakeholders. For example, at leading scientific fora including those of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) (both US and European editions), and in contribution to the stakeholder-driven and action-oriented EU TRWP Platform and its Way Forward report.
TRWP is a multi-stakeholder issue and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to reduce tire wear and the generation of TRWP. Effective reduction of TRWP will require a multi-faceted approach that will benefit from a shared scientific understanding of any potential impacts.
Therefore, the industry is actively supporting the development of standard test methods to measure tire abrasion to understand the abrasion rates from different tires. The industry is an active contributor to this process and has initiated development of test methods at the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the International Standards Organization (ISO).
We have also contributed to discussions relevant to global policy, including those coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that resulted in a report providing policy insights on how to minimize microplastics emitted unintentionally from products and their potential impacts on human health and ecosystems. The report, “Policies to Reduce Microplastics Pollution in Water: Focus on Textiles and Tyres” (OECD, 2021), includes an overview of mitigation options, dividing them between the stages of product design and manufacturing, and the use phase.
In addition, in 2023 we established a task force that will work to develop a holistic approach to better understand and promote action on the mitigation of TRWP. Given the complexity and multi-stakeholder nature of the issue, we think is the necessary and correct approach.