More than 2 billion rubber car tires are made every year. But the source of rubber isn’t always eco-friendly. Natural rubber comes from rubber trees that grow only in tropical areas and are prone to disease. Artificial rubber is made from petroleum products.
Tire-maker Bridgestone wanted a greener solution. It found it could make rubber out of guayule (gwhy-OO-lee), a hardy shrub that grows in dry climates.
Bridgestone used this new source to make Firestone Firehawk race tires, which made their debut last summer. Drivers couldn’t tell a difference in performance between the guayule tires and the standard ones. More of these eco-friendly tires are expected to hit the tracks this season!