Each year, automobiles produce 246 million waste tires in the United States alone, with 51 million tires being produced in the sole state of California. Once a tire has served its purpose, it becomes redistributed to meet several different paths, including: landfill space, reuse, recycling, or burning for fuel. Tires sorted for fuel are exported to Asian countries for burning, establishing an image that most tire waste it diminished in the US or otherwise accounted for. Together, landfills and fuel production equate to 60% of tire outsourcing- with fuel production equaling 49%, but this is an overall environmentally dangerous number. The same tires burned in Chinese power plants, “and re-purposed for fossil fuel, eliminating rubber waste from landfills”, often lack the expense methods used to properly filter smog from the plant. As a result, the smog produced from US tires, then drifts across the Pacific and back into California, in a more harmful form then it previously took.
Sole Purpose wishes to curb the amount of smog being injected into the atmosphere by reducing the 49% of tire waste being sent to Chinese plants for the creation of fossil fuel. We desire to increase the percentage of used tires being sent to the category of reuse, which is currently at 40%, while simultaneously reducing the 11% of tires that take up landfill space. Sole Purpose plans to accomplish this by manufacturing shoes (production and construction based in China, where most of the smog originates from) that contain soles made from re-purposed tire waste. This way, instead of tires being melted down for fuel, generating smog, the rubber will be reconfigured to design fun, fresh shoes for the people of California.