Exports of waste tyres, in particular to India have grown exponentially in recent years to the point where they are seriously undermining domestic recovery capacity both in the UK and elsewhere.
Of India’s known pyrolysis units SAPE claim that well over 40% are non-compliant even with India’s own environmental standards. The TRA urges the UK together with other western governments to impress upon authorities in the Indian sub-continent and in SE Asia the need to redouble their enforcement efforts and to eliminate bad and dangerous working practices. In this respect the TRA commends recent efforts by the Australian government to address this issue.
Furthermore, the TRA believes that exports of waste tyres should be more stringently regulated at home as well as abroad in order to better protect our domestic recovery infrastructures as well as to improve working and environmental standards everywhere. Tyres, even at the end of their lives remain a valuable resource containing many useful recyclates and other materials, which deserve to be better valorised.
Industry alone cannot solve this issue, western governments and those in recipient countries need to better coordinate their enforcement activities to ensure that wastes such as tyres are recycled and reprocessed by optimal means, this is more than possible, many better technologies for doing this already exist commercially.
The TRA intends to play its part. Over the coming weeks, its members will meet to explore active ways in which all the key players can work together to bring about stable and environmentally better approaches to the management of our waste stream.
To find out more about the trial TRA’s other initiatives visit www.tyrerecovery.org.uk