It is estimated that every year a total of 1 billion ELTs are generated across the globe.
A number of countries and regions have launched initiatives to support better management of end-of-life tyres. A brief outline of some of these is below:
Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) was established by tyre importers to administer a national, voluntary and industry-led tyre product stewardship scheme. The scheme was launched on 20 January 2014.
The scheme will be funded by a levy on the sales of new tyres sold by participating tyre companies.
TSA aims to increase domestic tyre recycling, expand the market for tyre-derived products and reduce the number of Australian end-of-life tyres that are sent to landfill, exported as baled tyres or illegally dumped.
TSA administers the scheme and conducts education, communication, compliance and market development activities.
TSA expects the collection and recycling costs associated with ensuring end-of-life tyres go to an environmentally sound use to be passed on to consumers at around the same level as tyre disposal charges at the time of the scheme launch.
Read more about TSA.
Tire Stewardship British Columbia (TSBC) is a not-for-profit society formed to manage BC’s tyre recycling programme.
In March 2006 the BC Ministry of Environment added tyres to the Recycling Regulation which required industry to submit a stewardship plan to the Ministry.
Tire Stewardship BC was formed to accept responsibility for the provincial scrap tyre recycling programme and in January 2007 launched its new scrap tyre recycling programme replacing the government-run program that had been in place since 1991.
The programme collects an Advance Disposal Fee, commonly referred to as an eco fee, on the sale of every new tyre. The fees are used to pay for transporting and recycling BC generated scrap tyres ensuring that the tyres are disposed of in environmentally responsible ways instead of ending up in landfill. The ADFs vary by tire type in order to adequately compensate for the higher cost of collecting and disposing of the varying tire sizes.
On average between 80% and 90% of the scrap tyres collected are recycled into products. Most are recycled into crumb rubber, which are granules of rubber with the steel and fibre removed. Recycled rubber is then used to create a variety of products including athletic tracks, synthetic turf fields, playground surfacing; colourful, resilient flooring in recreational facilities; flooring and mats for agricultural and industrial use; and coloured landscaping mulch. The remaining scrap tyres collected are used as a fuel supplement in the cement and pulp and paper industries.
Find out more about TSBC
Source: World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Tire Industry Project
Established in January 2006, the goal of the Tire Industry Project (TIP) is to identify and address the potential health and environmental impacts of materials associated with tire making and use. This project is chaired by the three largest tire manufacturers – Bridgestone (Japan), Goodyear (US) and Michelin (France) – and includes a total of eleven companies representing approximately 70% of the world’s tire manufacturing capacity.
Discussion on the environmental impact of tires frequently focuses on the management of tires that have reached the end of their useful life (End-of-Life Tires, or ELTs).
It is estimated that every year, a total of 1 billion ELTs are generated. Across the globe, various regional initiatives have been launched to address this issue supported by government authorities, individual tire manufacturers, and the broader tire industry.
These initiatives recognise that neither the impact nor the value of a tyre ends when it can no longer be used on a vehicle. Even at this stage, it still has value as an energy source or as a secondary raw material. ELT recovery provides cost-effective and environmentally sound energy for several industries and can be used as innovative secondary raw materials for the production of new products. However, whilst recovery rates are currently as high as 96% in some regions, effective management is not commonplace across the globe and ELTs continue to be sent to landfill and stockpiles.
Two key documents have been produced:
Find out more about the WBCSD Tire Industry Project