Posted on 08/11/2012 in category Convention

Tyres Committee:

“End-of-waste” status would ease cost burden

According to BIR Tyres Committee Chairman Barend Ten Bruggencate of the Netherlands, the removal of “waste” status for ELTs would create an estimated added value for the business of “at least Euro 1bn” over the next 10 years.

Addressing the latest Tyres Round-Table in Barcelona, he said: “At present, end-of-life-tyre-derived products have to be managed as waste even when they are going to be recycled or to be remanufactured. The waste status is a huge burden which adds significant costs over disposal and in many cases acts as a barrier to improved resource efficiency.”

BIR and other leading organisations are convinced ELTs are well-placed to be excluded from waste status through compliance with the following criteria laid down in the EU Waste Framework Directive: a market exists for the material; this material is already commonly used for specific purposes, meeting technical requirements, legislation and standards applicable to products; and use of the material has no adverse impact on the environment or on human health.

Mr Ten Bruggencate highlighted the uneven attitudes towards such products: for example, he noted, the Dutch use large amounts of ELT-derived granulate in their sports pitches whereas neighbouring Belgium regards this as a waste.

The European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) is seeking end-of-waste status not only for ELT rubber-derived fractions but also for casings suitable for retreading, the organisation’s Technical Co-Ordinator for ELTs Jean-Pierre Taverne noted in Barcelona. He also emphasised the multiplicity of uses for products derived from ELTs: for example, it has been calculated that around 49% of Europe’s ELT granulates and powder went into synthetic turf in 2010, a further 17% was destined for sports and children’s playgrounds, and 15% was consumed in moulded objects.

While recognising that the process towards agreeing end-of-waste criteria may take two years or more, “we want ELTs to be considered no longer as a waste but as a resource”, Mr Taverne insisted. The benefits, he added, would include an improved functioning of the internal market through the application of simplified, harmonised rules, and a reduction in the administrative burden - especially that relating to shipments and transportation.