Brussels – The European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) has welcomed a recent study by UK researchers on the release of tire & rubber wear particles (TRWP) into the marine environment, saying it will help extends the knowledge on the “complex topic.”
“ETRMA welcomes… any contributions to filling the knowledge gaps that persist and identifying areas for future research,” said secretary-general Fazilet Cinaralp in a written statement to ERJ 23 June.
The study, led by the University of Plymouth and directed by Professor Richard Thompson, shows that tire particles can be transported directly to the ocean through the atmosphere or carried by rainwater into rivers and sewers.
The researchers claim that this could place around 100 million m² of the UK’s river network and 50 million m² of estuary and coastal waters at risk of contamination by tire particles.
To address the issue, Thompson proposed that the industry and policy makers should collaborate to develop mitigation measures such as changes in driving behaviour, product design and waste management.
In her response to the study, Cinaralp said ETRMA agreed with Thompson’s assessment that mitigation measures would require multi-stakeholder consultation and cooperation.
“Together with our partners in the scientific community, government, non-profits and other industries, the European tire industry is committed to this approach through the European TRWP Platform,” she added.
According to Cinaralp, ETRMA is closely analysing the study and examining discrepancies in the results to advance its understanding of TRWP. The association, she added, looks forward to continuing dialogue and collaboration with the team behind the study.
To conclude, the ETRMA boss pointed out that the European tire industry “strives for a cleaner environment and is committed to finding effective and science-based solutions to reducing tire and road wear particles.”