Rubber is just misunderstood.
Most are unaware of how far-reaching the industry is, impacting the cosmetics we use, cars we drive, water we drink, food we eat and medical supplies and devices that heal us and keep us thriving.
Perhaps this unawareness is most evident in conversations with high school and college students. As they ponder how to shape their future careers, plans often do not include the rubber industry. There are a number of reasons for that, but it boils down to a misunderstanding of how critical elastomers are to their everyday lives and just how innovative and cutting-edge the industry can be.
So, in this 5 for 50, we're busting some of the most common myths about the industry at large.
In every issue leading up to our special 50th Anniversary edition on Aug. 9, we'll explore a new list of 5 things that have changed or are changing the industry. When our 50th anniversary issue arrives, you'll have a total of 50 things that define the last five decades.
1. Rubber is dirty.
There are stories told in Akron about the black soot that coated buildings and homes located near the tire factories.
Much has changed since then. Every facet of the industry—from the material suppliers to product manufacturers—is operating more sustainably. The tires themselves are "greener" than ever before as tire makers rely on technologies that reduce waste, harness the sun for solar power and reuse rain water and energy to power facilities.
Others, such as carbon black makers, are working to reduce emissions from their production facilities to ensure cleaner air, water and soil.
Additionally, companies up and down rubber industry supply chains are committed to sustainability, challenging each other to reduce carbon footprints, rely on cleaner energy sources and ensure equity in all business areas.