For 2050 our goal is to cut off the use of synthetic rubber and natural rubber produced abroad completely. Our estimation is that rubber de-vulcanization will be possible on a large scale in the near future, this will make it possible to fully recycle almost all rubber currently in the system. But because there is always a loss in a circular cycle (for instance the rubber that is left on the road) we have to add some new rubber into the system. This rubber will be extracted from dandelion plants grown on a local scale in The Hague. Putting in only dandelion rubber means that over time all synthetic rubber will slowly be replaced by natural rubber extracted from the dandelion.
To raise awareness, we want to launch a showcase project based on bicycle tires, as bicycle tires have a lot lower physical demand than car tires. The goal is to make bicycle tires completely out of dandelion rubber, this will prove the possibilities of this material. And by spreading this new rubber source through all The Hague this might even attract some international attention.
Step based approach
- Currently all small household rubber waste is meant to be thrown by the trash and not re-used at all. We want to implement a separated waste collecting system in the same way small chemicals are already collected in the Netherlands. By giving every household in The Hague a box in which they can collect their rubber and bring it to local collecting point, like once a year. This rubber will then be granulated and used as all down cycled rubber is used at the moment.
- We want to have a program to raise people’s awareness of which materials they could collect and recycle.
- Start research and development of bicycle tires made completely out of natural rubber extracted from dandelion.
- Start the planning to grow dandelion as a rubber source in The Hague.
- Explore new designs of the bicycle tire to make it easier to recycle.
- (We stimulate the industry keeps on researching the use of dandelion rubber in car tires)
- Start the pilot for extracting rubber out of the dandelion farm.
- Present the first bicycle tire purely produced out of natural dandelion rubber.
- Give the dandelion bicycle tire research to the industry so they might produce a car tire with higher percentage of dandelion rubber.
- Upscale the amount of dandelion farming in The Hague.
- Produce dandelion rubber bicycle tires at a larger scales and spread the through The Hague.
- The de-vulcanization of rubber should be possible and economical on a large scale; this makes it possible to completely recycle rubber.
- Companies have time to implement de-vulcanization in their production process, and larger scale dandelion farms could be set up to meet the demands od 2050
- Regulations in The Netherlands that allow tire companies to solely use recycled rubber collected in The Netherlands or dandelion rubber produced in The Netherlands.