Brussels – The European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA), based in Brussels, has described claims of under-reporting of the volume of end-of-life tires (ELTs) in Europe as "an obvious misinterpretation of ETRMA’s data [that] only serves to confuse."
European's main tire recycling body the European Tyre Recycling Association (ETRA) recently issued a statement suggesting that the actual level of scrap tire arisings in the region is almost 60 percent above the reported level.
The widely accepted figures for scrap tire arisings in Europe – based on statistics produced by the ETRMA – put annual European ELT volumes at 1.897 million tonnes in 2013, according to the ETRA, which is also based in Brussels.
However, ETRA said its statistics, produced based on ETRMA figures, cross-checked with vehicle manufacturer figures and known sales figures show that total arisings across Europe "may be as high as" 2.99 million tonnes. This, it said, takes into account new vehicles and, therefore, new tire sales, replacement tire sales, and a 20-percent allowance for loss through wear.
"That figure of 2.99 million tonnes, if correct, raises questions about the standard of data collection and recording across Europe,” said the ETRA. “Such a considerable element of the arisings 'missing' requires that we ask questions about what might be happening to them under the radar of the governing bodies and governments.”
In its response, the ETRMA said it had changed the way in which its ELT statistics for 2013 were reported. For the first time, so, the data presented in its 2014 statistics booklet "were limited only to countries with Extended Producer Responsibility with an ELT management company," operating within the ETRMA network.
"These individual reporting lines should not, and were never intended, to be tallied to represent EU total arisings," said the ETRMA. "The ELTs collected and treated by the ELT management companies in 2013 represented around 71 percent of the total arisings of these 14 countries.
"The veracity of this data is therefore, not open to question."
The ETRMA will release a full dataset of statistics this autumn, as part of its annual ELT Management Report.