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Introducing SDG Initiatives by Companies in Hokkaido via Video

This video, titled "Recycling Scrap Tires to Make New Products! From Hokkaido SDGs to the Future|WEEK⑤ Broadcast on December 3, 2021" (廃タイヤをリサイクルで新たなモノへ!SDGs北海道から未来へWEEK⑤ 2021年12月3日放送), was uploaded by "HBC News Hokkaido Broadcasting Co." (HBCニュース 北海道放送).
This news program introduces companies in Sapporo, Hokkaido that are working on SDGs, in 7-minute video.

This article will explain SDGs and introduce the technology to transform scrap tires into a resource, as seen in the video.
Learn about the future SDGs through the efforts of a company that has been developing technology to treat scrap tires as a resource for the past 22 years.

What Are SDGs?

Image of SDGs

The term SDGs refers to "Sustainable Development Goals."
They are international goals that aim for a sustainable and better world by 2030, and there are 17 major goals in total.

This time, the video introduces goal number 12, "Responsible Consumption and Production," which aims to "ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns."
In other words, it is an initiative to reuse scrap tires, which are disposed of in large quantities, by converting them back into recyclable resources.

The Sapporo Based Companies That Have the Technology to Turn Scrap Tires Into a Resource

Image of scrap tires
Photo:Scrap tires

Introduced at the beginning of the video is the aquarium tank at Sunpiazza Aquarium in Atsubetsu, Sapporo.
The aquarium's purification system contains special anti-algae/anti-mold pouches that inhibit the formation of algae and mold, which can be seen at 1:13 in the video.
The anti-algae pouches make it easier to keep the aquarium clean and reduces the frequency at which they need to be cleaned.
The anti-algae pouches are made of crushed anti-bacterial plated film, and this technology originated from the crushing technology of scrap tires.

The company that developed the anti-algae pouches is Kotobuki Sangyo of Sapporo, Japan.
Kotobuki Sangyo's core business is the manufacturing of roller guides, which are auxiliary devices used in steel mills to stretch steel heated to over 1000℃.
The company's roller guides account for about 80% of the domestic market share, but 22 years ago the company decided that it could no longer rely solely on these roller guides and began exploring new avenues of business.

The largest percentage of scrap tires are recycled for thermal use as fuel (65%), while repurposing (reuse of rubber) accounts for only 17%.
Kotobuki Sangyo has taken on the challenge of recovering scrap tires and recycling them back into useable materials.
The tires contain steel wires and mesh, so it was very difficult to develop a technology to remove these and crush the resilient rubber.
Kotobuki Sangyo developed a machine specialized in recycling scrap tires, believing that recycling was absolutely necessary to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Made With Rubber Chips From Recycled Scrap Tires

Rubber mats (water-permeable rubber sheets) and rubber boots made with rubber chips made from crushed scrap tires are introduced at 5:40 in the video.
The rubber boots are made of ultra-fine 0.06 mm rubber powder by utilizing this crushing technology.
This recycled rubber can also be used to make new tires.

Some manufacturers have begun selling sandals and bags made from scrap tires, as well as crepia powder (クレピアパウダー), antibacterial insoles for safety shoes, and crepia fiber, which are made from scrap tires.

How Scrap Tires are Currently Disposed of in Japan

Image of a car tire
Photo:A car tire

Scrap tires are industrial waste and cannot be disposed of like regular trash; they must be picked up by a disposal company.
In addition to being collected free of charge by dealers when new tires are purchased and replaced, used tires can also be purchased if they are still usable.

In addition to the method introduced here (turning scrap tires into rubber chips for reuse), there are other methods which include turning them into recycled oil, metal, and rubber.
In addition, "recycled tires," in which only the grooves of the tire are re-covered, have been attracting attention as a way to reduce the amount of scrap tires themselves.
These recycled tires are subject to Japan's Green Purchasing Law.

Summary of Japan's Scrap Tire Recycling and SDGs

The above video, "Recycling Scrap Tires to Make New Products! From Hokkaido SDGs to the Future|WEEK⑤ Broadcast on December 3, 2021," introduces a company with the technology to recycle scrap tires.

Approximately 100 million scrap tires, roughly 1 million tons, are generated every year, and the problems surrounding them are becoming more and more serious.
Simply burning and disposing of scrap tires is damaging to the environment and a waste of valuable resources.
In order to reduce CO2 emissions, save energy, and conserve resources, it's important to use scrap tires as a resource.
If you still haven't yet, be sure to check out the video to learn more about companies and their efforts to turn waste tires into resources.

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Last Updated : Mar. 16, 2023
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SDGs From Hokkaido Using Scrap Tires as a Resource! Recycling the 100 Million Scrap Tires Generated Annually!
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