Innovation That Matters

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Paving the way for circular production of rubber


A platform connects players of the rubber supply chain to encourage innovation and circular initiatives

Spotted: Rubber – whether synthetic or natural – is one of the most commonly used materials on the planet. From shoes to tyres and garden hoses, rubber is all around us. While synthetic rubber does not easily break down, it can, in theory, be recycled, although very little of it actually is. According to one study, in 2021 only 1.5 per cent of the total rubber waste generated was recycled or reused.

Circular Rubber Platform is working to change this by making it easier to recycle, recover, or renew rubber products. The platform centralises initiatives on rubber circularity, providing material and technology databases that encourage recycling. The databases include ready-to-use rubber materials that contain recycled and renewable raw materials, as well as global technology providers who recycle rubber into high-quality raw materials.

The platform also organises digital meet-ups for members to discuss new technologies and project groups that can close product loops within the supply chain: “from producer to recycler, and back to producer”. Circular Rubber Platform Co-founder and Mechanical Engineer Enrico Koggel explains: “This way we inspire product engineers, material developers, and academics with the latest developments and instruct how to use them.”

Members of Circular Rubber include engineers, product designers, academics, materials and services suppliers, and startups working on projects to reuse rubber waste or bio-based raw materials. The platform also receives support from corporate members, such as Synthos.

Increasing the circularity of raw materials is an important way to reduce carbon emissions. Springwise has spotted this in other innovations, including a greener, circular cement and a process for recycling ceramics into new products.

Written By: Lisa Magloff




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