Well…this is exactly what the tyre industry are trying to do. To reduce dependence on south-east Asian rubber trees, the industry is looking for more sustainable alternatives when it comes to creating rubber. The use of synthetic rubber is one option and one such source is the Russian dandelion, which can found on the bordering areas of China and Kyrgyzstan.
The weed has a high content of natural latex and so far the tyre company, Continental, have been able to convert the flower into a material called Taraxagum. So far, the company have made a batch of prototype tyres and are currently going through testing. Early results are being reported as ‘promising’ and it is said that dandelion tyres could enter production within the next 5 to 10 years. Talk about flower power!
This is not the only case of companies looking for more sustainable alternatives to producing their products.
Adidas are about to unveil a new model of running shows that are the first mass-produced footwear created using recycled plastic recovered from the ocean. The shoe is to feature a primeknit upper made from plastic waste retrieved in clean-up operations in the Maldives and recycled polyester.
Each pair reuses the equivalent of 11 plastic bottles, but there is definitely a price for being sustainable. The shoes will be available for purchase for $200 online and at selected retail shops, but only 7000 pairs have been produced.
What is your company doing to make production more sustainable? Tweet us at @ZeppelinUK.