Australian tyre stewardship scheme launched

An industry-driven tyre stewardship scheme was launched by the Australian Government today. The scheme is backed by the Australian Tyre Industry Council and has been established with funding from tyre importers Continental, Goodyear Dunlop, Michelin, Pirelli, Toyo and Yokohama. It aims to tackle the environmental challenges arising from used tyres.

The industry participants have established a company called Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) to administer the scheme and appointed Gerry Morvell, who chaired the Tyres Implementation Working Group from April 2010 to June 2013, its chairman. TSA’s work will complement efforts made by Australia’s state and territory governments in the area of tyre disposal.

This new industry initiative aims to increase domestic tyre recycling, support new technologies, expand the market for tyre-derived products and reduce the number of end-of-life tyres ending up in landfill or illegal dumps. Under the TSA scheme, participants will commit to only work with others who support environmentally sound end of life tyre management. These commitments will be supported by an audit programme, and educational products covering best practice will be developed.

Figures covering 2009-10 show that an estimated 48 million equivalent passenger unit (EPU) tyres reached their end-of-life in Australia during this period. Approximately 66 per cent of these were disposed either to landfill, stockpiled or illegally dumped or categorised as unknown, 16 per cent were domestically recycled and 18 per cent were exported.

The industry-led and funded TSA scheme is voluntary and has been granted authorisation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) until 3 May 2018. Collection and recycling costs levied under the scheme are likely to be passed on to consumers at around the same level as current tyre disposal charges, Australia’s Department of the Environment reports; participating companies will pay AU$0.25 a tyre to fund the scheme’s aims.

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