Irish Associations in Waste Tyre Crisis Talks
Representatives of the Tyre Recovery Activity Compliance Scheme (TRACS), Tyre Waste Management (TWM), the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) and the Tyre Wholesalers and Retailers Association (TWRA) had to face crunch talks with the Irish government Department of Environment on 20 May. According to Irish publication Tyre Trade Journal (TTJ), the associations were summoned following the broadcast of a Prime Time Investigates programme, which screened three days earlier.
In the course of the hour-long programme, which is said to have cast the sector “in a very dim light” Irish Environment Minister John Gormley reportedly attacked the industry’s recycling policy: “It hasn’t worked and the agreements that were entered into in good faith will have to be re-assessed. There hasn’t been, in my view, a willingness to live up to the agreement, and it will have to be re-assessed in its totality.”
Industry sources fear that Minister Gormley is ready to pull the plug on both Tyre Compliance Schemes and will opt for a Producer Responsibility Initiative (PRI), which would put the onus and cost for collection and recycling on tyre importers. Significant producer responsibility initiatives have been introduced in relation to packaging waste, end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), farm plastic waste and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in support of industry-led initiatives.
However, during the meeting officials reportedly asked the two compliance schemes, TRACS and TWM, to furnish proposals on how best to regulate the collection of waste tyres. TTJ reported that officials are also insisting that TRACS and TWM report quarterly or on demand to the Department. Currently, both bodies are required to submit annual reports.