To combat the negative impact of global waste tire build-up, the Timberland CompanyвЂ”a leading environmental stewardвЂ”will launch two new footwear collections featuring outsoles made using recycled rubber from discarded tires. Currently, more than seven billion tires sit in landfills worldwide, leading to one of the largest and relatively unknown environmental issues. Through the use of Green Rubber proprietary and patented technologies, Timberland will help transform waste tires into a valuable raw material.
вЂњWe are facing an unpublicized epidemic with 1.2 billion tires being disposed in landfills every year leading to water pollution and breeding grounds for disease-carrying insects,вЂќ said Datuk Vinod Sekhar, CEO and Founder, Green Rubber Inc.вЂњWith Green RubberвЂ™s environmentally friendly technology, we can start to make a real dent in the mountains of tires creating an environmental blight on the planet.вЂќ
Recognizing that rubber is a valuable and reusable resource, Timberland will be the first footwear manufacturer to commercialize Green Rubber technology, incorporating it into the outsoles of more than 200,000 pairs of shoes scheduled for release in fall 2009. Using a blend of Green Rubber compound and virgin rubber compound (for an outsole that is made up of 42% recycled tire crumb), Timberland is able to maintain the durability and performance characteristics of their footwear.
вЂњWe are thrilled to have found a way to support making rubber a more sustainable resource. Green Rubber is positioned to have a major impact on the global rubber industry; managing tire waste can now become both a commercially viable and eco-conscious process,вЂќ said Jeffrey Swartz, CEO, The Timberland Company. вЂњAs a company we are committed to connecting successful commerce to environmental responsibility, and this is a great opportunity for us to share our commitment to sustainability with our customers.вЂќ
Green Rubber technology creates a new source of rubber compound made from waste tires through a non-toxic, environmentally conscious de-vulcanization process called DeLink. This technology converts any sulfur-cured rubber compound (including scrap rubber from old tires) into a recycled compound which can be used on its own or blended with virgin rubber compounds to produce a wide variety of rubber products, like outsoles. Using waste tires as a raw material provides the rubber industry with a cost-effective supply of rubber and can help to reduce dependence on raw materials that are derived from non-renewable petroleum sources. Through this process, Timberland forecasts that the fall 2009 collections will use 50 tons of Green Rubber material, displacing 42 tons of virgin rubber with recycled tire rubber.
By 2012, Green Rubber intends to recycle the equivalent of more than 200 million discarded tires every year. The company is about to launch an aggressive expansion program as it looks to open new manufacturing plants for its revolutionary rubber compound in the Americas, the Middle-East, Asia and Europe.