Liberia: Firestone Rubber Tree Plantation
Ever wonder where you tires come from? Firestone owns a massive rubber tree plantation in Liberia. Rubber trees are drained of their sap, which is a milky white liquid, slowly dripping down. This is actually pure latex. It is collected over time just like birch tree sap in Russia or maple syrup in Canada. The process is known as rubber tapping and the white stuff is collected in small buckets and then aggregated into bigger containers with additives so it doesn’t harden. The trees are replanted after about 30 years of use. It was great to see how Firestone built schools and roads and churches and houses for the people working on the plantation. No tires are produced here, the latex is shipped overseas where actual rubber and products are made.