Figures issued 2 May by ETRMA show that, in 2016, 94% of all used tires were collected and treated across 32 countries – the EU28, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey.
Of these tires, around 1.9 million tonnes went for material recovery and 1.1 million tonnes for energy recovery, the association said. Granulation accounted for 75% of material recovery, and cement kilns for 81% of energy recovery.
Used-tire arisings in Europe increased by about 2% year-on-year to 3.9 million tonnes whilst the reuse of part-worn tires – comprising casings used for retreading on the domestic market, export & domestic second-hand markets – fell by 5%.
ETRMA’s analysis showed that ELT granulation grew by 9.3% year-on-year in 2016, while there was a 2% rise in ELTs sent to energy-recovery. However, civil engineering uses of whole or shredded ELTs decreased 3%, and reuse of tires as blasting mats and dock fenders fell 15%.
Extended producer responsibility (EPR) programmes for tires expanded to three more European countries, with the creation of national ELTma CZ and ELTma SK schemes in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 2016, and Repak ELT in Ireland in 2017.
In 2018, 23 countries operate under an EPR regime for tires representing about 65% of EU arisings, while ETRMA noted discussions now in the UK about introducing an EPR regime for tires.
The tire industry clearly supports the EPR model, according to Fazilet Cinaralp, secretary general of the Brussels-based ETRMA.
However, she added that this approach much be “backed by clear statutory requirements… [with] a separate line on the invoice, showing the environmental contribution for ELT management, ensuring full transparency for both national authorities and to the end consumer”.
The ETRMA leader, meanwhile, believes that the ELT granulation market in Europe is becoming saturated and wants national authorities to do more to develop new market outlets for ELT granulates.
“EU harmonised end-of-waste criteria for ELT granulates & powder are also needed to ensure a level playing field between virgin and secondary raw materials” concluded Cinaralp.