Backed by energy giant Vitol, Wastefront secured planning permission in January 2022 to build the £100 million tyre recycling plant in Sunderland, which is set to be commercially operational by 2024. Once at full capacity, the plant is designed to be able to manage 20 per cent of the UK’s total ELTs through processing 80,000 tonnes annually. Gateway Resources will supply Wastefront with nearly 10 million tyres every year.
Carlton Forest reports that it has begun a cold testing phase at what it refers to as “the UK’s first continuous pyrolysis plant” located at the company’s Worksop site. That announcement, which was published on 13 May 2022, will be followed by “full operation launch” later in May.
Under an expanded cooperation, end-of-life tyre (ELT) recycling equipment manufacturer Eldan Recycling A/S and pyrolysis technology developer Pyrum Innovations AG will include each other’s products in their complete recycling solutions. The Danish and German firms say they’ll distribute these solutions “actively”.
Selected sizes within the Continental PremiumContact 6, EcoContact 6 and AllSeasonContact tyre ranges will now contain recycled polyester yarn obtained from plastic PET bottles. The recycled yarn completely replaces conventional polyester within the tyre casing, with around 40 PET bottles needed for a typical set of passenger car tyres.
Tyre recycling and product recovery specialists Scandinavian Enviro Systems (Enviro) is has noted “a sharp increase of interest in purchasing the carbon black and oil that Enviro recovers from end-of-life tyres” since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. Interest has been observed “among old and new customers”, but the company has not commented on what this means in terms of specific orders.
Continental AG has signed a development agreement with tyre pyrolysis firm Pyrum Innovations. Continental has held “a strategic minority stake” in Pyrum since its IPO in 2021. The new deal means, among other things, high-quality recovered carbon black (rCB) is to be obtained for Continental’s tyre production. Continental’s subsidiary, Reifen-Entsorgungsgesellschaft (REG), will begin supplying end-of-life tyres from the premium manufacturer to Pyrum this month. In the long term, the aim is to establish a circular economy concept for the recycling of end-of-life tyres.
During the first week of March, Wastefront announced it has entered a strategic partnership with electric vehicle tyre-focused tyre brand Enso. The deal will see Enso incorporate Wastefront’s recycled carbon black (rCB) in its tyres from 2024. Wastefront will also provide UK-based Enso with a recycling outlet for its used tyres, as part of its Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).
At the end of January, Wastefront AS received permission to press on with plans to construct the ‘UK’s greenest tyre recycling plant’ at the Port of Sunderland. Construction on the development is expected to begin this year (2022), with company executives confident that the plant will be in commercial operation by 2024, creating around 100 skilled jobs.
Klean Industries Inc partner Pyrolysis Hellas SA (PHS) has completed Phase II of a Detailed Feasibility Study (DFS) to design and build a tyre pyrolysis plant in Greece. It is now entering the final Phase III and permits have been awarded by the Greek Authorities. According to the two companies, the plant will be the first tyre pyrolysis plant in Greece.
On 17 February 2022, Cheshire Fire Service sent two crews to tackle “a blaze at a tyre recycling site in Ellesmere Port”. The fire engines from Ellesmere Port and Powey Lane attended the scene in Canalside, Ellesmere Port not far from the Stanlow oil refinery.
At the end of January, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) staff and their work tackling waste crime were featured as part of investigative journalism programme BBC Disclosure. The programme entitled ‘Dirty Business’ highlighted problems associated with unregulated ‘man with a van’ flytipping to large scale illegal activities with links to serious organised crime such as abandoned lorry trailers bursting with up to 41 tonnes of waste. SEPA launched a dedicated intelligence and enforcement function in October 2019 to deal with those types of growing activities.
Sustainability has risen to become the leading mobility trend over the last few years, and the drive towards greater levels has permeated every major corner of the tyre business. While the focus of pro-environment efforts in the tyre business has often fallen to the tyre recovery sector, developing a Circular Economy necessitates a more holistic industrial input, from raw materials suppliers to manufacturers, from the environmental effects of the tyres in use to the material and energy it is possible to recover from end-of-life tyres. Recognising the fundamental place this theme has in our industry, this month Tyres & Accessories presents the latest news and analysis in the sustainability space, beginning with a general overview of developments in the recycling sector from the British Tyre Manufacturers Association (BTMA)’s perspective.
The Indian government’s announcement of an action plan for the management of increasing volumes of waste tyres has been welcomed by the UK Tyre Recovery Association (TRA). Despite the Indian government’s move as a “much-needed response to a growing environmental challenge”, TRA representatives commented that India’s waste tyre arisings have been “swelling exponentially but so too have imports of old tyres from many western countries”. Some of the latter have reportedly “ended up being processed in illegal or environmentally unsuitable ways”.
European Tyre Enterprise Ltd (ETEL), which owns leading tyre retail and wholesale operations Kwik-Fit and Stapleton’s, has agreed the acquisition of Murfitts Industries, the country’s leading tyre recycling company. ETEL is buying 100 per cent of Murfitts Group Ltd, the parent company of Murfitts Industries. Murfitts operates a national network recycling the equivalent of around 20 million car tyres per year. Murfitts, which processes and recycles tyres into granulate, has been a long-term provider of post-consumer tyre collection and recycling services to ETEL.