Schwalbe’s Tube Recycling Program is likely to “expand further into Europe once the logistics are worked out,” the brand has told CyclingIndustry.News.
The eco-friendly return and recycle scheme currently operates successfully in the brand’s native Germany where retailers are able to ship their spent tubes back free of charge with DHL.
As much as 30 per cent of Schwalbe’s inner tube production now utilises recycled materials. Once the valve is cut out, the tubes are melted down to create fresh raw material. Tyres may also be on the menu once the brand can find a time efficient way to remove metals.
Sales promoter Tim Ward said: “We can accept tube returns from anywhere in the world, though at present outside Germany the dealer would pay for the postage. We’re currently looking at the logisitcs to see if we can cost-effectively roll the scheme out further. Some material comes in from Switzerland and Austria, though even there customs issues can put barriers in the way. With logistics taken into account it’s revenue neutral, the ultimate goal is to stop this stuff ending up in landfill.”
In other news, the brand has now cleared its back orders for ProCore following a very strong reception to the technology from the bike market.
Schwalbe’s Tube Dispensers, which essentially work in the same way as cigarette machines, also continue to prove popular in areas with high cycling modal share.
“They’re popular in Holland and Germany,” says Ward. “In the UK planning permission has always proved an obstacle, but in areas with strong growth in commuter cycling it makes a bit more sense. They’d work particularly well with shops based at or near train stations.”
The dispensers are available (in English and accepting sterling coins) to any retailer that wants to take one on and manage it. Retailers interested in exploring the opportunities with the dispensers should contact their area represenatative, or alternatively contact the Telford office on 01952 602680, or via [email protected].