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Schwalbe launches inner tube recycling scheme

Initiative will be rolled out to UK bike shops next month

Germany-based tyre firm Schwalbe – coincidentally one of the prime forces behind the push towards tubeless – is launching a scheme via UK bike shops for recycling inner tubes.

Cycling Industry News reports that UK retailers participating in the scheme can fill up a 15kg carton of used inner tubes – whether from their workshop, or from customers – and return it free of charge via DHL drop-off points.

Schwalbe will then recycle the tubes, in an initiative that is designed to help bike shops emphasise their green credentials to consumers.

Similar schemes from the company are already in place in Germany and the Netherlands.

Tim Ward of Schwalbe UK said: “Schwalbe have been leading the way in Europe with this green initiative and sustainability is very important to us as a company.

“In a world where natural resources are increasingly exploited and under pressure, including rubber supply; it’s important to develop and support recycling technology.

“It’s estimated that 10-20 million used inner tubes are discarded into landfills each year … Schwalbe are determined to reduce this.”

The scheme is mainly aimed at bike shops, encouraging them to get customers to recycle inner tubes, and the company will give marketing support to dealers on the initiative.

Launching in February and supported by a social media campaign, the initiative will see Schwalbe accept inner tubes from any brand through participating dealers.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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mdavidford | 4 years ago

Will they accept the ones I've cut up and used for plant ties, once they've deteriorated too much to be any use for that?

PRSboy | 4 years ago

Can bike tyres be recycled or used for anything else?  I have a conti 4 season that is worn through after mega miles.

Mr Mudguard | 4 years ago

There's probably 15kg of tubes hanging up in my garage "waiting" on being patched.  I say "waiting" as they've been hanging there for years now...

hawkinspeter replied to Mr Mudguard | 4 years ago

I get that recycling makes sense, but for rubber can't we just plant a lot more trees?

ktache replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago
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Probably HP, but I think where rubber plantations tend to be the only way of expanding them is to clear forest.

It is better than them going into landfill.  My hardware shop recycles light bulbs and my supermarket recycles Brita water filters (I use purified water for my teapot) and batteries.

I fix my latex tubes until they explode, then tend to use them for bicycley things, shims for light and reflector fitments and I get through a fair bit as frame protectors for the jaws on my workshop/display stand.  And extra stong elastic bands in a fetching shade of green.  I think I have a roll of the pink Air-B somewhere.

alan sherman replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago

Butyl bike tubes are not made from natural rubber - they are a petrochemical rubber.

kil0ran replied to hawkinspeter | 4 years ago

Yes, but the trouble is your nuts just boing out when you try to store them

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