Consumers can now demand their used tyres go to genuine recyclers, as the Federal Government lends support to Tyre Stewardship Australia’s (TSA) National Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme.
On Monday, TSA’s scheme was recognised as best practice product stewardship by the Federal Government as part of the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence.
The accreditation was further bolstered by significant funding to increase resource recovery associated with the off-the-road sector and expanding the National Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme to include conveyor belts.
TSA CEO Lina Goodman welcomed the announcement by Environment Minister Sussan Ley, saying it would provide confidence to consumers and industry that the Scheme’s positive environmental and human health outcomes had been independently verified.
According to Goodman, the Scheme’s endorsement also means consumers should ensure their tyre retailer is guaranteeing end-of-life-tyres are being recycled.
“We’re really pleased to have been given the Federal Government’s stamp of approval for the Scheme under the new Recycling and Waste Reduction legislation,” she said.
“It will help drive stronger procurement policies so more Australians view the waste we create as the valuable resource it is.”
Australia generates the equivalent of 56 million end-of-life passenger tyres annually. While 72 per cent are re-used, recycled or upcycled, 28 per cent of the volume is still disposed to landfill, buried or stockpiled.
The mismanagement of end-of-life-tyres causes stockpiles, illegal dumping or burial in agricultural lands, all of which can lead to possible fires and a significant risk to human and environmental health.
“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 said.
“In the five years since the voluntary Scheme’s inception, we now have more than 1700 participants from across the tyre supply chain including retailers, manufacturers, auto-brands, recyclers and collectors.”
Goodman added that through its globally-admired Market Development initiative, TSA has committed more than $6 million nationally to find innovative and entrepreneurial ways to manage the used tyres generated in Australia for greater productive outcomes.
“Our Foreign End Market verification program is the only global platform aimed at verifying that Australian-generated end-of-life-tyres are not causing environmental or social harm at their final destination,” she said.
“But while there is an incredible amount of goodwill, the government’s accreditation will allow us to do more to address the issue of what I call ‘free riders’ – those organisations currently selling tyres into the Australian market, but not taking responsibility for them.”
These companies, Goodman said, have been enjoying all the benefits of what TSA has to offer without contributing to the solution.
“The recent Recycling and Waste Reduction legislation means while the government is making it easier for industry to set up and join in product stewardship schemes, they also have new tools to intervene and regulate when companies aren’t doing the right thing – including ‘naming and shaming’ those not participating in the Scheme,” she said.
“This accreditation will help TSA expedite the markets, funding and solutions associated with end-of-life passenger tyres.”