ETRMA "deeply concerned" by proposed EU rubber infill ban
22 Sep 2022
"With the proposed ban, the European tire recycling industry will lose at least 30% of its end market...”
Brussels – The European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) is “deeply concerned” by a European Commission (EC) proposal to ban the use of rubber granules as infill material in synthetic sports surfaces.
In a statement supplied to ERJ, ETRMA warned about the negative “economic consequences of the ban for the tire recycling industry, the continuation of material circularity, and the impact on CO2 equivalent savings.”
According to the association, the development of the infill industry over the last years has been intrinsically linked to the availability of rubber granules.
As well as providing affordable material for use in synthetic sports fields across Europe, the product has secured a stable market for rubber granular material producers leading to economies of scale, it explained.
However, continued the ETRMA's 20 Sept statement, the EC proposed ban on rubber granular infill material in synthetic turf “puts at stake the continuous material recycling of tires.”
In particular, the European tire recycling industry is set to lose at least 30% of its end market, said the industry association.
Likewise, it said, the loss of 30% of the market for infill “hampers the profitability of the granulation business model as a whole, jeopardising the availability of rubber granules for current and future alternative applications.”
ETRMA went on to note that since the European Chemical Agency evaluation – on which the ban is based – two new studies have shown that efficient ‘risk management measures’do prevent the release of infill from synthetic sports surfaces.
These studies confirm that "with simple and affordable risk management measures, releases from artificial turf are [minimised] and controlled, not posing significant risks for the environment,” concluded ETRMA.
We will report further on this development in the September/November issue of European Rubber Journal magazine.