Environment Minister Greg Hunt has announced the formation of Tyre Stewardship Australia and launched the national Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme, which will explore the potential for the formation of new industries and products from old tyres, as well as seek to improve recycling processes and reduce unsustainable disposal practices.
About 48 million tyres are discarded every year in Australia alone. Though some are exported, just 16 per cent are recycled and many still end up in landfill or are illegally dumped.
A number of leading tyre manufacturers have joined the scheme. They’ll pay 25 cents per tyre and the money will be used to fund research into ways to transform the waste product into something useful.
The new initiative is aimed at reducing the environmental, health and safety impacts of the millions of old tyres.
Tyre Stewardship Australia chairman Gerry Morvell said as well as helping to reduce the environmental impact of tyre disposal, the scheme would also create new industries and employment opportunities.
“It gives the Australian tyre industry the opportunity to show strong environmental and product stewardship leadership,” Morvell said.
Michelin, Yokohama, Continental, Goodyear-Dunlop, Toyo and Pirelli are all on board.
Potential uses for tyre-derived products include road surfacing, playground surfacing, brake pads, flooring and fuels for energy recovery.