As part of the criticial raw materials online campaign, we’ve rolled out 4 visuals so far – each covering a critical raw material (CRM) included in the most recent 2017 list of Critical Raw Materials for the EU. Now, we unveil the fifth which focuses on natural rubber, one of the listed CRMs.
Your pool float is most likely made of Hevea brasiliensis, more commonly known as the rubber tree. It can be found in many products including latex gloves, baby bottle teats or condoms. The automotive sector mainly uses it to manufacture tyres for cars, trucks and aircrafts, as it is more resistant than its synthetic cousin derived from petroleum.
Rubber is primarily produced in Thailand (32%) and Indonesia (26%) by small producers who are clearing acres of forests to plant this tree that is native to the Amazon rainforest. A highly concentrated production coupled with stressed ecosystems and a global consumption that has doubled in 40 years have led the European Commission to list natural rubber among the 27 critical raw materials.
To anticipate possible shortages, Europe has created the “European Union Raw Materials Knowledge Base” to bring together member states and industry and facilitate the exchange of information on these resources. Their exploitation often leads to challenges which the campaign will inform by shedding light on the different initiatives led by Europe to address them. As part of this campaign, a new visual will be published and promoted monthly via this dedicated SCRREEN website and Twitter account @SCRREEN_EU.
Explore our previous visuals
Cruise around in a cleaner car – the first visual talks about CRMs necessary to manufacture cars which emit less toxic gases.
Explore the Earth’s wealth – the second visual sensitises on the current landscape of CRMs market and the declining reserves.
Smarter mobile phones – the third visual breaks down the smartphone while pointing out how CRMs make it possible for our phones!
Creating tomorrow’s jobs – the fourth visual points out the considerable growth opportunities that CRMs provide for Europe.
Comments are closed.