Marine Biodegradability Survey of Tires Begins at Shimizu Port


Lipper K.K. will begin a project in June 2024 to survey the marine biodegradability of tire dust, a known cause of marine microplastics, at the Port of Shimizu (Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan).
In this pioneering research, rubber test specimens will actually be submerged in Shimizu Port for more than six months and the progress will be observed, which is unprecedented in the world.

This survey will be conducted in cooperation with the Marine Industry Cluster Council of Shizuoka city.

Marine Microplastics and Tire Dust Issues

The tire industry is currently facing the problem of marine microplastics. Microplastics are small particles of plastic less than 5 mm in diameter, and they are said to be a burden to the marine environment as they flow into the ocean through various pathways.

Several studies have shown that 30% to 70% of marine microplastics are derived from tires, and the EU Parliament is planning to apply tire dust regulations starting in 2028. (About the Tire Emission Regulation (Microplastic Emissions from Tires/Tire Wear Regulation)). We believe it is highly likely that other countries and regions will also consider this in the future.

In the context of this industry situation, we have decided to investigate the marine biodegradability of tire reinforcement materials under development. Stakeholders such as tire manufacturers, users, and shareholders have come to place as much importance on environmental performance as on functional performance, and we believe that by investigating marine biodegradability, one of the environmental performance factors, and clearly stating the results, we can gain further trust from our stakeholders.

Targeted Outcome

In order to create and evaluate the optimum rubber compound and evaluate its marine biodegradability for the commercialization of tire compounds with high marine biodegradability, we create a prototype of the compound and evaluate its marine biodegradability.

In addition to marine biodegradability, basic rubber performance and tire performance are required for rubber compounds, so we also evaluate them.

Since marine biodegradability is a new area for which evaluation methods have not yet been established, we will conduct this study in cooperation with related organizations.

The results of the survey will be fed back to the implementing organizations, academic societies, and industry associations to contribute to the development of research and industry.



  • Testing period: Phase 1: approximately 6 months from June 10, 2024.
  • Location: Fujimi Wharf quay, water area (Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka City)
  • Test method: Rubber test specimens are immersed in the sea for approximately 6 months. Test equipment was collected after immersion and evaluated for degradability.
  • Publication of results: Results presented:
    To be shared on our website and presented at conferences, etc.

About Marine Industry Cluster Council of Shizuoka city

Marine Industry Cluster Council of Shizuoka city is an organization of Shizuoka City Hall established in 2016 to create new businesses in the marine industry and fisheries sector. For this study, the Council is providing support for the implementation and operation of the project in Shimizu Port.

Website: (Japanese)