No longer do tires simply function as a vehicle’s transport mechanism; the tough tread is now being used to provide our feet with safe travels.
Shoe manufacturer Timberland will soon launch it’s “green” model of work boots, made from 42% recycled tires. Like many of today’s new products produced by Eco-conscious companies, this innovative use of recycled rubber is a step towards cleaning up our landfills and creating a cleaner environment.
With the help of Green Rubber, Inc., a company devoted to safely disposing the one billion waste tires piled up each year, Timberland is incorporating a designer technology that allows rubber to be re-used. Through a process called devulcanization (DeLink), which reverses the highly chemical vulcanization process that turns virgin rubber into usable products, waste tires can be made into “green rubber”.
Companies like Timberland are benefiting from Green Rubber technology not only because it boosts their eco-friendly status, but because it’s cost effective and efficient. Below is a picture that depicts the current state of the scrap tire industry created by the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
As you can see, tire-derived fuel makes up the largest portion of recycled tires. This practice is still somewhat controversial due to the potential for toxins to be released into the ozone layer. According to the Green Rubber company, theirs is the cleanest recycling technology available today: “DeLink, and the Green Rubber it creates, will open up a whole new level of opportunity and innovation for the rubber industry, as well as solving a number of major environmental challenges, all at the same time.”
Timberland is one of the first major brands to utilize this technology; only time will tell if others join the movement.