Robert de Ruijter, CEO, DRI Rubber

The history of DRI Rubber – a Dutch company with its headquarters in Waalwijk, The Netherlands – dates back to 1948. Three generations of the De Ruijter family have developed DRI Rubber from a local trading company into a worldwide market leader in upcycled rubber compounds and fiber-reinforced compounds, as a real family business. Since the start, sustainability was always an essential factor for the organization.

“By putting great value into sustainable entrepreneurship, we want to stand out in the market,” says Robert de Ruijter, CEO of DRI Rubber. “We have successfully integrated into the global rubber and tire industry, reprocessing and upcycling waste streams (both the regular and more difficult rubber waste streams) and by-products into all sorts of high-quality, consistent, and reliable products and solutions, reducing waste in the process and therefore lowering the environmental footprint of the global rubber and tire industry.”

From Waste to Product

It all starts with the tire industry, as DRI Rubber services the global tire plants, among others Goodyear, Continental, and Michelin. “We provide many logistical solutions, helping reduce waste in the process. We offer toll manufacturing, coordinating the rubber waste management, and with our closed-loop solutions, we are even able to directly give back to the supplier. That is how we can really invest in the circular economy, reducing prime material usage and the CO2 footprint. And by keeping this in the (local) region as much as possible, we also reduce transport emissions and costs. Because of our global presence, we can reprocess 50.000 metric tons of rubber waste yearly.”

“DRI Rubber offers the widest range of compounds, materials, and finished products for various applications. We develop reprocessed compounds and fiber-reinforced compounds, also known as FRC©. We also introduced our new Sustacom© products, circular rubber compounds, based on the best practice application requirements. We supply entire industries with these products. Our finished products also cover a lot of applications. Our rubber mats, for example, can be used for industrial or agricultural uses. We also make products for the mining, automotive, and transportation industry.”

“We are unique in providing technical support to our customers in application and process optimization to realize sustainable cost reductions and consistent performance with our materials and finished products.”

The Better Alternative

“Our process is 100% aimed at upgrading quality and adding value. We continuously invest in knowledge, capacity, and innovation, both internally with our in-house laboratories and externally by collaborating with universities and specialized labs. By doing so, we can offer reliable, consistent, and high-quality products. And most importantly, we increase the product life cycle by many years, providing a better alternative for using raw materials.”

“In our industry, transparency and compliance towards customers and suppliers are very important. That is one of the main reasons why we are ISO-certified and completely REACH-compliant. We have an environmental permit for dealing with rubber waste. Altogether, this ensures our license to operate for sourcing, manufacturing, and selling, now and in the future. We can always take over waste streams. Of course, we are very interested in the feedback from our suppliers and customers, as we intend to always improve our quality and services.”

The rubber and tire market has changed, with environmental care becoming more important. Robert explains, “This is because of the waste produced by the rubber and tire industry. The industry has a negative image because of this, despite its own innovative products. Waste is part of the tire and rubber production process, as simple as that. But it is important how you look at it. We need to view waste more as a solution and less as a problem. That mentality opens new doors and gives room to innovative solutions. That is also why we always improve upon our own quality and environmental systems. By continuously adapting to changing markets and environmental challenges while providing innovative solutions, DRI Rubber has earned its position as an industry leader.”

Worldwide Presence

“Becoming a respected authority in the world could not be achieved without our own staff members,” mentions Robert, “as they really are the ambassadors of the organization. Thanks to their energy, we maintain a physical presence in all regions worldwide, enabling us to better serve our customer and supplier base. As with our products and solutions, we also invest in our own personnel, providing them the tools to become the best version of themselves. To be more specific, that means investing in personal growth, creating a safe and healthy working environment, and keeping morale high, whether you have an office job or work in the production plant.”

“As a way forward, we want to increase our production capacities in the USA and Europa, to serve international tire plants and customers even better. We aim to invest in long-term collaborations with partners who also put great value in eco-friendly and sustainable development.”

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