Shoe Outsoles Made From Recycled Tires

Piles of discarded tires - Shoe Outsoles Made From Recycled Tires | Trederra

Tackling Sustainability in Footwear While Reducing the Amount of Dangerous Tire Waste in Landfills.

From withstanding our daily commutes to safely landing airplanes on slick runways, tires are made to stand the test of time. While we’re grateful for their resilience, their sturdy construction and chemical makeup pose a major problem when discarded into landfills.

Like other non-biodegradable materials, the rubber used for tires can take decades to break down, leaving plenty of time for an array of environmental hazards to plague communities across the globe. In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of keeping tires out of landfills and the innovative ways they can be recycled and upcycled, such as how we create recycled material to make shoe outsoles.

Fire Hazard

If you’ve ever seen a car chase gone wrong in an action movie, you might already know that tires are extremely flammable. While it may be exaggerated on the big screen, the dangers of burning tires are very real, especially in tire landfills, also called tire graveyards.

It’s important to note that while tires are flammable, they cannot catch fire on their own – tire fires in landfills are typically the result of arson or improper manipulation with open fire. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), tire fires are extremely difficult to extinguish, with one infamous tire fire in Virginia burning for nine months that took nearly 20 years to clean up.

In addition to the risk of fire on its own, burning tires emit a host of harmful pollutants into the air, endangering communities, wildlife, and the environment.

Toxic Waste

When it comes to environmental and communal hazards, tires in landfills pose a threat even if they don’t catch fire. Because of their chemical makeup and slow decomposition, discarded tires can leak toxic chemicals into the ground and air, often contaminating groundwater, soil, and air quality.

This harmful addition to the ecosystem affects wildlife communities, humans’ food and water supplies, and the overall health of the environment. Plus, because tires stick around for so long, they disproportionately take up space in landfills, resulting in the expansion of existing landfills and the use of even more land to create more space for all of this waste.

Economic Burden

Managing tire waste in landfills also carries a significant economic burden. Governments and local authorities must allocate resources to monitor and address the environmental and health risks associated with tire-filled landfills.

Plus, taxpayers often bear the cost of cleanup efforts and firefighting operations, diverting funds from other critical public services. Because tire fires and other mitigation efforts are prone to drag on for weeks and even months, funds can quickly be depleted.

Solving the Problem One Sole at a Time — Shoe Outsoles Made From Recycled Tires

At Trederra, we saw an opportunity to help mitigate the problem of tires in landfills by thinking sustainably. We were determined to do something about the nearly 4 billion tires that lay in landfills today. Hence, our grand plan emerged: shoe outsoles made from recycled tires. Now, our recycled rubber compound, Trederra CT-50, can be used for up to 50% of the footwear outsole, which is the largest percentage of recycled tire content used in footwear to date.

Quality shoes made for hiking, construction work, running, playing, and so much more already use varying forms of rubber to create durable and versatile outsoles. So, we figured, how about we repurpose tires that would otherwise be headed for landfills into those outsoles? While tires may be worn down when people discard them, that doesn’t diminish the usability of the material itself.

Through a process involving partial devulcanization, recycled water, and carefully breaking the tires down to a moldable crumb, we then produce sheets of high-quality rubber material that can be seamlessly integrated into any footwear company’s outsole production process.

Cutting down on environmental impacts, contamination, and the use of new materials, our recycled tire outsoles are changing the footwear industry (and helping to keep tire waste out of landfills) one sole at a time.

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