Consumers can now demand their used tyres go to genuine recyclers as the Australian Government lends support to Tyre Stewardship Australia’s National Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme (TPSS).
On Monday, the tyre 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 TPSS to include conveyor belts.
TSA CEO Lina Goodman warmly welcomed the announcement by The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment, saying it would provide confidence to consumers and industry that the Scheme’s positive environmental and human health outcomes had been independently verified.
The Scheme’s endorsement also meant consumers should ensure their tyre retailer is guaranteeing end-of-life-tyres are being recycled, Ms Goodman said.
“We’re really pleased to have been given the Australian Government’s stamp of approval for the Scheme under the new Recycling and Waste Reduction legislation. 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 (EOLT) annually. Whilst 72 per cent is re-used, recycled or upcycled, 28% of the volume is still disposed to landfill, buried or stockpiled. The mismanagement of EOLT 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 continued.
“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.
“Through our 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 (FEM) 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.
“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 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 makingit 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.
“This accreditation will help TSA expedite the markets, funding and solutions associated with EOLT.”