Why we should buy recycled rubber products…
Come 2021, rubber tire usage is predicted to increase by approximately 60%. Add that projection to the current 200 million already lying around—with some 100,000 pieces being taken off automobiles on a daily basis and with only 35% of this getting recycled—and the number becomes even more staggering.
Now consider this: tires need decades to break down, and even then, they do not totally decompose. This, of course, poses numerous problems.
Problems such as:
Tire burning—a practice done in cement production, where at least 50% of recycled tires are used as replacement fuel—causes a 500% increase in dust particles and a tenfold increase in Sulphur dioxide. For environmental and health activists alike, these numbers ought to not be ignored.
Add up the toxins produced from tire decomposition alone, which have been found out to cause lead contamination in the soil, and the whole scenario of tires accumulating in vacant lots and whatnot becomes rather dreary.
So far only 11 states have banned the dumping of tire waste in landfills. Rubber products still constitute at least 2% of total solid waste currently found in landfills at any given time. In 2007 alone, millions of tons of tires were dumped into already heavily clogged landfills. Space for other wastes is becoming more and more scarce.
Tires discarded poorly can cause water/moisture accumulation. This, in turn, could lead to infestation: mosquitoes, rodents, and other kinds of pests. The presence of these pests, as warned by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, could trigger vector-borne diseases—encephalitis being the most obvious.
Tires and rubber products in general are essential in this day and age; this statement cannot be refuted.
Another statement that cannot be refuted is this: indiscriminate tire accumulation is a problem that we all have to address. One way to do so is to patronize recycled rubber products. The dangers listed above should be enough of an argument for us consumers to do just that.