Tire manufacturer Yokohama is now selling a model made with 80 percent non-petroleum material, substituting orange oil as the primary ingredient to make vulcanized rubber.Orange oil is considered sustainable because it is produced from a renewable resource. The same philosophy of reducing petroleum use is utilized in producing plastics from corn starch or vegetable oil.
Yokohama has yet to release the environmental impact of disposing these tires, which typically provides an environmental concern. The petroleum in traditional tires can burn for months in a landfill and is difficult to extinguish. These fires also release black smoke and toxins into the air. Yokohama has not specified whether the orange oil will biodegrade over time.The process for recycling tires involves devulcanizing the rubber, which would essentially remove the oil and extract natural rubber. Because this is an expensive process, used tires are often shredded and turned into playground surfacing or additives for the soil in sports turf. It can also be reused as artwork.