Ecopneus has met its collection obligation and addresses excess stockpiles
Ecopneus Collected 190,000 tons of End of Life Tyres in 2020
Ecopneus saw some 66,000 requests for the collection of ELT from over 21,000 tyre dealers served throughout Italy. A widespread and constant collection throughout the year, even during the lockdown, despite the drop in tyre sales by around 20 per cent compared to 2019.
The ELT collection and recycling system managed by Ecopneus, closed 2020 with a positive balance. Despite the critical issues encountered during the year, due to the pandemic and the consequent sharp decline in tyre replacement, the management system set up by Ecopneus has maintained a constant collection service for the tyre sector throughout Italy without any interruption during the lockdowns.
In fact, 189,569 tons of ELT were collected by Ecopneus during 2020. Compared to the collection targets set by law, calculated on the quantities of tyres placed on the market by the member companies in the previous calendar year, the collection stands at 96 per cent: an important result especially in the face of a drop in 2020 in tyre sales – and the consequent drop economic resources deriving from the environmental contribution that finance the system – of around -20 per cent. This should also have led to a similar decline in the collection of ELTs, due to the lack of the economic resources and the lower volumes of ELTs physically present at the retailers.
The Ecopneus system, on the other hand, has maintained its usual performance standards, thanks on the one hand to the efficient management of economic resources and the use of the operating surplus for 2019; on the other hand, by eroding the ELT stocks still present among the operators and mainly deriving from irregular flows of tyres entering our country without tax documentation.
Moreover, as of January 15, 2021, the residual stocks from the previous year have already been collected.
“In fact, 2021 started from the very first days with even greater concern than 2020, which allowed us to achieve satisfactory results despite the critical context that the country has experienced,” declared Giovanni Corbetta, General Manager of Ecopneus. “We have implemented an important management effort to ensure the collection of ELT from operators, constantly throughout the year, even during the lockdown, in all the Italian Provinces from the mountain resorts to the smaller islands and paying greater attention to small towns as well. Retailers that generate modest quantities of ELTs, where collection is more expensive in terms of costs and logistics were still dealt with. Over 70 per cent of Ecopneus collection interventions are carried out in small and medium-sized shops, where less than 300 pieces are taken per collection.”
Despite the decline in sales and the related associated environmental contributions recorded in 2019, in the first months of the emergency and the consequent lockdown, the number of collection interventions carried out by Ecopneus at tyre dealers remained at the average of previous years despite the considerable reduction in ELT withdrawal requests compared to the same period in 2019. In the first four months of the year, collection was in line with that of previous years.
Furthermore, at the end of 2020, a provision of the General Directorate for Circular Economy of the Ministry of the Environment imposed an obligation on agencies, such as Ecopneus, to collect an additional quota of ELTs of 15 per cent compared to the reference targets from 1 January 2021. This was to address the challenge of the shortfall in tyre arisings compared to EPR responsibilities.
Thanks to the provision issued, the current congestion situation of many retailers will gradually ease and resolve in the coming months; however, it is imperative to arrive at a tracking and control system that allows Italy to combat the irregular entry of tyres on the national market as much as it always has been.