Materials producer Teknor Apex Co. has teamed up with a recycling firm to convert chewing gum waste into a raw material for thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) to make boots.
Gumdrop Ltd., which specializes in the recycling of waste chewing gum, approached Geleen, Netherlands-based Teknor Apex while working on a program for reclaiming pre and post-consumer gum for use in its Gum-Tec compound.
“We assembled a multi-disciplinary team drawing on our capabilities for materials analysis, process engineering, and manufacturing,” said Stef Hordijk, Teknor Apex senior market manager,
The waste chewing gum forms up to 30 percent of the new gum-based TPE compounds.
According to Hordijk, the Gum-Tec compounds, like standard TPEs, have a low compression set, can be formulated for either glossy or matte finishes, accept colors, and are recyclable.
Gumdrop was founded in 2009 and specializes in the recycling of pre and post-consumer gum waste, converting waste gum into Gum-Tec compounds which can be used for a number of different rubber and plastic applications, including boots.