Environmental impact of rubber and cotton
Aurisel: “People often do not realise that purchases once were mined from the earth as raw materials. The production of raw materials often has a negative impact on the environment. In my research, I am mapping the environmental impact of two products: a triggerpoint ball and a sport tape. These mostly consist of rubber and cotton, so therefore I am studying the impact of rubber and cotton on biodiversity, air quality, climate, change in land use, soil quality, water quality and water use.
Remarkable is that the environmental impact of triggerpointballs and sport tapes mostly takes place at the start of the supply chain, e.g. during the extraction of the raw materials. Cotton and rubber are often cultivated in monocultures that deplete the soil and need a lot of pesticides and fertilizers. This can induce soil- and water pollution and gives negative consequences to the natural environmental of these plantations. Therefore, I am creating an overview of the impact of these two raw materials on the 7 ecological factors named before. Moreover, this overview will provide possible solutions that reduce the negative impact.
The research shows that the production of raw materials can have a negative impact on biodiversity, change of land use and soil- and water quality. Factories, on the other hand, use energy and water intensive processes and therefore have negative impact on climate and water use. We think that laws and regulation and economy will reduce the negative impact of factories: for example, by regulation of the dangerous substances that end up in the water or by giving economic stimulation for green energy. The main impact stays at the beginning of the supply chain (the raw materials) and in that part of the chain brand owners can play a role.