A major group broadly representing the tyre industry is deeply disappointed with the stance taken by the Minister for the Environment regarding progressing stewardship outcomes for end-of-life tyres (ELTs).
Representatives of the Tyrewise Working Group and Auto Stewardship NZ met with Minister Dr. Nick Smith in late July to express their concerns at recent Ministry statements suggesting that ELTs did not represent a significant national environmental issue, and to seek clarification on the Minster’s views on progressing mandatory stewardship for ELTs.
At the meeting Minister Smith confirmed that there were no current plans to use provisions under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 to mandate stewardship for ELTs.
He reiterated that the waste stream currently does not cause sufficient environmental harm, that there is insufficient data to confirm this view, and that he had reservations about the stewardship model proposed by the industry. However he stated that he was not closed to the idea of mandatory stewardship and suggested that further work may identify areas where stewardship can be progressed.
While addressing specific concerns raised at the meeting, the group has written to Minister Smith to convey their doubt that further work will change his view, as the current evidence for mandatory stewardship such as the industry’s Tyrewise model is already overwhelmingly conclusive with the industry supportive of positive government action.
“In summary, the industry stakeholders consider that they delivered a model scheme that met the Deed of Funding project brief. It would be self-funded, world best practice to support NZ’s international ‘clean green’ reputation and trade access opportunities, reduce compliance costs to the consumer, be fair and present a consistent fee for disposal of ELTs.
It would also have good prospects of creating new recovery opportunities, R&D and end use options, employment opportunities and monetary benefits.
The industry acknowledges the Minister’s final statement which was that he was ‘not closed to the idea of mandatory stewardship and the answer is not yet a no’. As industry representatives of the entire supply chain the working group consider that, after four years developing a scheme design acceptable to industry but requiring support from Government to ensure a fair playing field, there is little more they can now do to convince the Minister of its merits.”
The group believes that the stance taken by Minster Smith is at odds with previous statements made by himself and the Ministry for Environment and not in-step with the views of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development whose country guidelines were used in developing the industry model and the actions of many governments in our international community.
With mandatory stewardship showing little sign of progressing, the group view is that collective voluntary action would be undermined by unregulated free-rider activity of non-participants and that the problems associated with managing ELTs now sits firmly with Local Government and, by default, ratepayers.
Recognising this, and that Local Government NZ are stakeholders in the industry group, the group will continue to support policy development with Local Government to appropriately manage ELTs regionally. This will include work to address data gaps around stockpiles, illegal dumping and landfill in participating regions with the view that a national data set is available in the future.
Individual organisations in the tyre industry who are working on stewardship initiatives will also continue that work where economically feasible.
About Auto Stewardship NZ
ASNZ is the Product Stewardship Organisation (PSO) formed to address the environmental effects of products throughout their life cycle and in particular the challenging end of life product issues in the wider auto industry. Products typically candidates for stewardship include vehicles, tyres, batteries and used oils. The primary initial focus of ASNZ is End of Life Tyres (ELTs), or stewardship of tyres – the organisation provides governance for the Tyrewise working group (tyrewisemicrosite.staging.mysites.io)
It has a board of trustees representing AA, IMVIA, MTA and MIA and three non-industry representatives as well as an industry advisory group:
- Imported Motor Vehicle Association representing new & used vehicle importers, David Vinsen, Chief Executive Officer
- Motor Industry Association representing new vehicle importers, David Crawford, Chief Executive
- Motor Trade Association representing retailers and tyre generators, Greig Epps, Industry Relationship Manager
- NZ Automobile Association Limited representing Consumers, Stella Stocks, General Manager, Motoring Services
Contact details can be found here
Mark Gilbert, (Chair ASNZ), Director, Insight Perspective Ltd
Kerryn Downey, Director, Downey Advisory Ltd, Independent Trustee
Kim Campbell, Chief Executive Employers & Manufacturers Association, Independent Trustee