Recycled Rubber Tire Tubes are IN
Recycled tires are a major environmental hazard. According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, over one billion tires reach the end of their useful lives as tires (a.k.a "End-of-Life Tires" or "ELTs") worldwide annually. Fortunately, the value of a tire does not end when it can no longer be used on a vehicle. Tires retain their value as an energy source or as a secondary raw materials for the production of new products.
How to efficiently recycle ELT is becoming an important concern for environmentally conscious consumers, businesses, government representatives, and regulators. State transportation departments increasingly use recycled tires in rubber asphalt for new roads, making it the largest market for ELTs according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Of the 245 million tires discarded in 2015, 88% went to use in an end-use market.
Some enterprising retail companies are even using the sturdy inner tubing material from ELTs for stylish new products. Timberland, for example, (yes, the boot maker) has introduced an innovative recycled outsole in certain lines of their boots made with crumb rubber from discarded car and truck tires. Some smaller boutique designers are using them to create trendy new clutches, backpacks, and messenger bags (to be featured in another post).