Updated: Jan 8
Rubber is one of the most ubiquitous commodities within our world. You can’t go through an entire day without using something with rubber in it! For centuries, people have been using the latex from Hevea brasiliensis, also known as the rubber tree, to create natural rubber.
You can find natural rubber in various household goods, such as tubes, erasers, and ecological yoga mats.
Keep on reading to find out five things you didn’t know about natural rubber!
Nearly two hundred plants produce latex, but you can actually turn only a few of them into rubber. Over 99% of the world’s natural rubber is made from the latex in Hevea brasiliensis!
There are about 20 million tons of rubber produced every year, with 40% from natural rubber.
Over 90% of latex and rubber comes from South East Asia. Thailand and Indonesia are the most prominent manufacturers of rubber!
The biggest threat to the rubber tree and natural rubber is disease. Plantations plant their trees extremely close to each other for increased profit, making it easy for sicknesses to spread throughout the entire grove.
Some people are unfortunately allergic to latex! The milky liquid in plants is the polymer that makes rubber so springy. For some reason, some people have severe allergic reactions to it.
Rubber is an indispensable material within our society. Everything from gloves and belts to tires and flooring uses rubber! Although natural rubber products are ideal because they aren’t made of plastic particles, the world’s demand is just too high for its supply. Within the 20th century, synthetic rubber became popular because our need far outweighed the supply. If you use and purchase synthetic rubbers, make sure you are eco-friendly and recycle them whenever you can!