Michael Hopkins, chairman of Rosehill Polymers of Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, says that dealing with the U.K.’s huge amount of waste rubber is a growing problem which needs to be addressed urgently at government level. Rosehill Polymers, established nearly 30 years ago, utilises around 3,600 tonnes of recycled tyre rubber annually most of which is converted into products for the rail industry by a system which incorporates Rosehill’s own Flexilon polyurethane binder formulation.
These binders and adhesives are manufactured by continuous reaction on their plant situated at their Rosehill Mills site. Nearly 50% of production is exported to countries throughout the globe including the Far East, Greece, Turkey, Australia, throughout Europe and the U.S., which is already a substantial market for it’s Flexilon binders. But the company intends to re- target this market for growth for their new TPV, a top of the range sports granule.
“We have proved that items like used tyres, which are almost impossible to dispose of safely and cleanly, are a valuable raw material and in converting recycled rubber into innovative products is a real opportunity to protect the environment, reduce the drain on natural resources and create employment opportunities,” said Hopkins.
“Quite simply, I’d like to know why more is not being done to encourage the efforts of companies like ours. A fraction of the resources devoted to high-profile, consumer orientated schemes would be very welcome. While they capture the headlines for a day or two, many such schemes make little impact compared with what could achieved through an industry-wide initiative.”
Rosehill Polymers’ moulded products include their Holdfast rubber rail crossing panels which are being exported globally. Their new TPV vulcanised granular infill for artificial sports surfaces and play areas is making a huge impact in the U.K. and overseas and will feature strongly when the company exhibits at the Athletics Conference and Expo in Las Vegas in November.
Michael Hopkins believes that rubber recycling will grow rapidly as pressure continues to rise on the production of oil-based products. “Our company was ahead of its time in recognising the potential in this area. I would now like our government to wake up to the opportunities it offers on both environmental and business grounds and to help make sure the U.K. grabs its share of the market.”