Apollo Tyres Ltd. has turned end-of-life tires into two playgrounds near Chennai, in the southern part of India. These 'Go the Distance' playgrounds have been created using worn-out or end-of-life tyres (ELT) for the kids of Senakuppam and Vallakottai villages, just outside Chennai.
Satish Sharma, president of Apollo in the Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, inaugurated the playgrounds, located inside the community schools, along with the head of the local Panchayats (local government leaders) and the school headmasters.
Sharma says, “As per research commissioned by us, very soon India will have 100 million+ end-of-life tires every year, without proper mechanisms in place to recycle or dispose off these tires. As a responsible company, we have been working towards tackling this issue of discarded tires. From expanding our retreading footprint, to the launch of Go The Distance pitch in Old Trafford, UK, and now these play structures, all showcase ways we have been working towards the reuse or recycling of discarded tires.”
Each of these playgrounds has been created using nearly 200 radial tires, under company’s umbrella environment initiative, Habitat Apollo. Depending on the success of this pilot project of creating play structures using worn-out tires, the company will look at replicating it at multiple locations across the country. Villages around Apollo Tyres’ manufacturing facilities will be the first targets.
The two village schools in Senakuppam and Vallakottai were identified for the tire playgrounds as they lacked play structures.
“Apart from making use of end-of-life tires, these Go The Distance playgrounds also provide a platform for the children from these villages to improve upon their agility and activeness," Sharma says, while also introducing them to the concepts of reusing and recycling items.
Discarded tires or end-of-life tires in India are increasingly being consumed by the environmentally hazardous so-called pyrolysis units in the unorganized sector. These tires often are refurbished, either retreaded or patched, and sold in tier II cities, or they're used by engineers and the crumb or reclaim rubber is extracted and reused. When those aren't options, tires are sent to brick kilns and used for fuel.