According to Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), used tyres are being sent overseas with little regard for environmentally sound recycling processes.
TSA Chief Executive Officer Lina Goodman said a recent audit into where some Australian recyclers are sending tyres revealed multiple red flags.
These include selling to businesses with poor health and safety practices, poor storage conditions and companies involved in environmentally harmful burning.
“Whilst it is inevitable that some used tyres will be sold overseas, we want Australian tyre recyclers and collectors to be more vigilant and responsible about where they send their product.
“Although TSA does not have the authority to regulate these markets, we do want to help our participants make informed choices – choices that are safer for the environment and society,” Ms Goodman said.
TSA have engaged multinational assurance company Intertek to assist with the verification of downstream end-of-life tyre processes and review its product stewardship scheme with the aim of greater transparency.
The guiding principal of the product stewardship scheme is that all members must use accredited TSA collectors and recyclers, and if they don’t comply membership can be revoked.
Intertek General Manager Australasia Benjamin Rieck said the company is committed to working with TSA to ensure responsible and environmentally sound outcomes over a range of areas including distribution, environmental, health and safety, modern slavery and broader social responsibility and compliance.
TSA has to date committed $4 million to the development of sustainable end markets for tyre-derived products within Australia.
“We are working hard to support these emerging markets but in the meantime, we need to do more to help our participants find and use reputable overseas recyclers,” Ms Goodman said.