Hankook joins Australian ELT stewardship scheme
Hankook Tire & Technology Group is the latest tyre manufacturer to partner with Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), an organisation set up to promote the development of viable markets for end-of-life tyres, and as such is now contributing to the National Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme. The Korean tyre maker’s engagement lifts the number of participating tyre importers to nine; in addition to Hankook, Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear & Dunlop, Kumho, Michelin, Pirelli, Toyo, Yokohama are involved with the scheme.
Ted Choi, managing director of Hankook Tyre Australia, says the decision to sign up for the scheme was recognition of the work of TSA and its achievements. “By cultivating win-win relationships like this one with Tyre Stewardship Australia, Hankook shows it too is a leader in preserving and protecting the environment for the next generation – a responsibility we take seriously.
“Hankook Tire & Technology makes constant efforts for economic, social and environmental sustainability of the natural rubber value chain,” he adds. “Through partnerships like this one with TSA, we are dedicated to mitigating our environmental impact not only in product manufacturing but also across the entire lifecycle from product development to use and disposal.”
TSA chief executive Lina Goodman congratulates Hankook: “In joining TSA as a financial contributor, Hankook joins our other importers in showing leadership towards sustainable practices for used tyres. We congratulate Hankook for taking this important initiative to drive positive environmental outcomes.”
56 million ELT tyres a year
In addition to the nine tyre makers, vehicle manufacturers Volkswagen, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz also contribute to TSA. Australia generates the equivalent of 56 million end-of-life passenger tyres annually. Whilst 72 per cent of these are re-used, reprocessed or upcycled, 28 per cent of the volume is still disposed to landfill, buried or stockpiled.
“TSA’s mission is to deliver against circular economy principles, ensuring the lifecycle of tyres is maximised, the residual waste product is valuable, and the entire supply chain works cohesively to contribute to better sustainable outcomes,” Goodman continues. “Since the voluntary Scheme’s inception in 2013, we now have more than 1,700 participants from across the tyre supply chain including retailers, manufacturers, auto-brands, recyclers and collectors. “Through our globally-admired market development initiatives, TSA has committed more than $6 million (£3.2 million) nationally to find innovative and entrepreneurial ways to manage the used tyres generated in Australia for greater productive outcomes.”
Too many free riders
But while Ms Goodman praises the activities of Hankook and the other tyre importers participating in the National Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme, she stresses that too many “free riders” still exist – organisations that sell tyres into the Australian market, but don’t. responsibility for them.
“These companies have been enjoying all the benefits of what TSA has to offer without contributing to the solution,” Goodman concludes.