Tyre Stewardship Australia welcomes new scheme members
In what it calls a landmark commitment, Tyre Stewardship Australia has announced that off-the-road (OTR) tyre importers Bearcat, Bridgestone Mining Solutions, Goodyear, Kal Tire, Michelin and Yokohama have committed to joining the voluntary Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme (the scheme) from January 2022.
“Tyre importers who join the Scheme are helping drive solutions,” comments Lina Goodman, chief executive officer of TSA. “The future for the OTR tyre sector is looking brighter thanks to their efforts. We applaud them and encourage other tyre importers to follow their lead.”
These tyre importers have agreed to contribute financially to the scheme and help find sustainable outcomes for end-of-life OTR tyres. Less than 15 per cent of the 140,000 tonnes of OTR tyres sold in the Australian market each year are recovered as a resource, with the majority ending up buried on site, dumped or in landfill.
Goodman notes that “a few organisations” – she names Tyremax, Tyres4U, Trelleborg, Australian Tyre Traders, Titan, and Tradefaire – have not yet committed to joining the scheme from January 2022. “These organisations distribute tyres for brands including BKT, Maxam, Nexen Tire and more into the Australian market. TSA encourages their participation in the scheme and welcomes the opportunity to continue working with these organisations.”
Stop shirking responsibility
The scheme levy is based on AU$0.25 per equivalent passenger unit, which results in the final levy across the OTR tyres starting at $0.75 for a small agriculture tyre to $50 for a large earth moving mining tyre. TSA notes that the levy is thus “one of the lowest in the world. Goodman: “It’s time to stop shirking responsibility, creating excuses and shifting the goal posts. Every year that we don’t find sustainable outcomes for OTR tyres is a lost opportunity to better recover the valuable resources they contain. The social and environmental harm is likely to be felt for generations.”
She adds that Bridgestone, Goodyear, Michelin and Yokohama already contribute to the Scheme through a levy on passenger, truck and bus tyres. “That levy has been instrumental in helping TSA contribute $7 million to develop new local markets for tyre-derived products. And the results have been remarkable: the passenger, bus and truck tyre sector now has a recovery rate of around 90 per cent.
“The time is right to shift our focus to the OTR sector. We want to generate the same level of interest, support and sustainable outcomes we have seen in the passenger, bus and truck sector,” says Goodman.