Natural Rubber

Natural Rubber is an importan resource for the industry in Germany. For now, the ecological and social impacts of the planation are not entirely known, although rubber plantations are contributing to the clearing of rainforests.

The goal of the project is therefore to sensitize tire and automobile manufacturers, as well as, other manufacturers and importers of rubber products and to identify ways to make their supply chain more sustainable.

 

History of Natural rubber

  • The tree originally comes from South America (Brazil)
  • The latex milk (caucho = tears of the tree) was already used by indigenous people
  • Commercial use came up by the invention of vulcanization
  • Brazil (Manaus) had a monopoly for a long time
  • At that time seringuerios (latex collectors) were exploited
  • At the end of the 19th century the plant was spread in Asia (by the British)

Hevea brasiliensis

  • Plant only occurs in the tropics
  • Economic use of the rubber tree (latex milk)
  • First "harvest" after five to seven years
  • On average two to three taps a week
  • On average about 100 ml per tapping
  • One third is rubber
  • Maximum yield after 12-15 years
  • After 25 years plant must be replaced by new planting
  • A total of about 150 liters of latex = approx. 50 kg of solid rubber
  • Wood can also be used economically