Natural rubber products

Natural rubber products

Natural rubber ends up in different products. The raw material is used in soothers, shoes, mattresses, seals and various other rubber products.

 

Source: Zeit.de

Of particular importance is the automotive industry. Of the approximately 69,500 people employed in rubber processing companies in Germany, 19,600 work in the tire industry. The sector generates a total of 16.2 billion euros and is therefore of essential importance for the German economy (source: IGBCE, as of the end of 2015).

Worldwide, only about 275,000 tons of the raw material end up in Germany. This is little compared to China (2.6 million tonnes). Nevertheless, this amount requires a cultivation area of about 250,000 football pitches. German companies are therefore directly related to the deforestation of rainforests, the use of land and numerous other ecological and social aspects.

Some German companies are aware of this responsibility and try to purchase natural rubber that is as sustainable as possible. However, it is currently still difficult to find suitable suppliers. In addition, there are only a few standards and labels that advocate sustainable rubber.

Some of the labels are exposed on the image below. While FSC mainly stands for sustainable forestry, GOLS uses criteria for organic cultivation. Rainforest Alliance uses the SAS-Standard for sustainable agriculture. Fair Rubber uses the FSC Standard combined with a fair wage for the workers. So all the labels focus on different aspects of sustainability.

Most of the rubber traded worldwide is not certified with one of these labels.

 Labels and Standards for sustainable rubber

Fair Rubber e.V.