Recycling rubber and regenerating rubber compounds

ReUse s.r.l. recycles rubber and regenerates rubber compounds: in a world where more than 280 million tyres are thrown away every year, and the rubber goods manufacturing industry generates thousands of tonnes of scrap, recycling rubber not only contributes to conserving the plants that produce latex – the substance used to produce natural rubber – but also ensures that the above mentioned scrap does not end up in landfills, resulting in considerable benefits for the environment in either case.

While it may sound like a recent concept, recycling has its roots in the very beginnings of the rubber industry, principally due to that fact that, around the year 1900, the cost of rubber was comparable to that of silver. Given how precious it was, reusing rubber was considered both economical and intelligent. Fortunately for manufacturers, the price of rubber fell significantly towards the middle of the twentieth, thanks to the introduction of synthetic rubber, low-price petrol imports and the use of steel band tyres. The negative consequence of this, however, was the reduced need recycle tyres and scrap rubber. This remained the case until it became apparent that disposing of tyres and the scrap produced when manufacturing rubber goods represented a threat to the environment, and governments all over the world began to introduce legislation such that it became obligatory to dispose of them safely by recycling. And this is how the concept of recycling rubber came to be back in vogue.

But what, exactly, is involved in recycling rubber? Basically, what happens is that scrap rubber is reprocessed and re-purposed for use in a wide range of applications and products, such as civil engineering and building work. More specifically, the rubber recycling process is divided into 4 distinct phases:

  • Collection;
  • Grinding;
  • Sorting;

Regenerating rubber compounds produces a series of significant benefits for the environment, including reduced energy consumption – the process of creating new products from recycled materials is much simpler -, reduced use of latex production systems – and hence reduced pressure on the plants; continuous exploitation of plants is never a good idea -, increased free space in landfill sites, which can be used for other products that cannot be recycled, and reduced environmental pollution, thanks to the smaller number of products that end up in landfills, a significant source of pollution.

To summarise, recycling existing products provides a source of raw materials sufficient to maintain production. Moreover, it is also possible combine recycled material with synthetic rubbers in order to guarantee the availability of the required number of rubber products.