Schwalbe UK follows German lead in recycling bicycle inner tubes with bicycle tyres remaining to be a challenge.
Schwalbe UK to recycle bicycle tubes
Schwalbe Tyres UK has announced the launch of an inner tube recycling scheme. The scheme is designed to encourage bike shops to collect used inner tubes and return them to Schwalbe to be recycled into new inner tubes.
Schwalbe claims that the scheme is designed to be easy to use, enabling retailers to demonstrate their ecological and sustainability credentials to their customers and encourage them to recycle inner tubes. Riders are also encouraged to take their used inner tubes to their local shops that are participating.
The scheme has been running successfully in Germany for five years with numerous dealers taking part. It also began in the Netherlands last year with Tim Ward, from Schwalbe Tyres UK commenting, "Schwalbe has been leading the way in Europe with this green initiative and sustainability is very important to us as a company. In a world where natural resources are increasingly exploited and under pressure, including rubber supply; it's important to develop and support recycling technology. It's estimated that 10-20 million used inner tubes are discarded into landfills each year. Schwalbe is determined to reduce this".
On the Schwalbe website, it says that they can recycle butyl rubber from old inner tubes for the production of new tubes with no loss of quality. To do this, they use a special devulcanisation process. They state this has been used to great success for several years and that around 20 per cent of every new standard Schwalbe tyre consists of recycled raw materials.
Schwalbe will accept inner tubes of any brand (including Slime tubes and tubes with latex sealant in) for recycling.
The recycling of bicycle tyres remains a challenge, though.