For hundreds of years we have relied on rubber to produce superior products and materials, and the importance of using rubbers in our daily lives has increased significantly. In fact, more rubbers are used today than have ever been used in history. Yet somehow we forget about the waste of rubber products when we discard them.
Plastic has received the brunt of the attention, but rubbers have historically flown under the radar when it comes to waste management. Interestingly enough, municipal waste is comprised of 13% plastic (which we hear about every day) but Rubbers make up over 8% and no-one says a word.
Additionally, rubber is very seldom recycled meaning that almost all of it goes straight into the landfill where it remains for hundreds of years. That equates to over 40 billion pounds of rubber waste every year going to US landfills.
Are we OK with this?
When will we begin to hold the rubber industry accountable as we have the plastics industry?
There is no reason today to have rubber waste sitting stagnant in the landfill. Technologies such as ENSO RESTORE RL allow rubber materials to biodegrade within the landfill and produce methane that we can capture for clean energy. This means that rather than hundreds of years, the rubber waste I throw into the landfill can be gone during my lifetime.
The solution is available, all we need to do is quit ignoring the problem.
How do you propose we hold the rubber industry accountable?