A TNU Forum at Motortec discussed the new waste law and its impact on the recycling of end-of-life tyres
On April 22, prominent experts related to the tyre and recycling sector met at a Forum to discuss “The new waste law and its impact on the recycling of end-of-life tyres” organised by TNU at Motortec Madrid 2022.
Javier de Jesús Landesa Operational Director of TNU, Fernando Burgaz, Head of the Subdirectorate General Area for Circular Economy of the D.G. of Quality and Environmental Evaluation of MITECO, and Óscar Bas, Executive Secretary of ADINE (Association of Tyre Distributors and Importers) contributed their different points of view in relation to several questions raised by Chema Bermejo, a journalist specialising in the automotive industry, who was the moderator of the panel.
The forum began with the intervention of Javier de Jesús Landesa, giving his point of view about how the new waste law will affect the recycling sector: “The new waste law is clearly aimed at encouraging recycling, recovery, and the reuse in general, not only of the tyre but also penalising or sanctioning other methods of recovery such as energy or disposal. Thus it will clearly improve the current situation in the case of the tyre in terms of its recyclability, recovery and recovery.”
Regarding the publication of Royal Decree 731/2020, which modified the regulations that have been regulating the management of end-of-life tyres since 2005, Fernando Burgaz explained: “Between the years 2018-2019, managers, producers, and the administrations at the level of each autonomous community verified the existence of imbalances and problems in the operation of management in general. So, at that time, what was established as appropriate was to conduct a specific review of the regulations that regulate the management of end-of-life tyres, identifying a series of points as priorities for their modification. That is what was introduced in this royal decree. Our impression is that these improvements or changes have been positive and have solved the problems, concerns or difficulties that have been registered in recent years.”
Regarding this Royal Decree 731/2020, the representative of MITECO added; “It has brought significant changes, such as the incorporation of large tyres into the management system, those with more than 1,400 mm in diameter, now all tyre arisings are managed through common procedures. The responsibility that corresponds to the producers was also redefined, clarifying that they are also involved in the prevention and management of waste and, in the case of tyres, through collective systems. An information system has been established so that all operators, managers, and anyone interested in managing end-of-life tyres have public access to it. The operation of the Authorized Treatment Centers (C.A.T.) was also clarified in terms of tyre management; that is, a series of improvements were introduced that were thoroughly analysed and agreed upon and that we are quite satisfied with the results that we are seeing in these last two years.”
Óscar Bas, the executive secretary of ADINE, added; “Another of the proposals that the Ministry has taken into consideration and of which we are pleased, is the tightening of the measures against fraud that affected us directly since we saw that some producers imported or put products on the tyre market without contributing to its environmental and financial obligations.
“Now, with the modification that the ministry has made in the sanctioning power, if a producer of the product fails to comply with his obligations and the benefit he obtains is much greater than the sanction imposed on him, his sanction may be doubled. This is important to highlight because many companies will no longer be able to skip the law.”
Another novelty of the Law is that it allows, through the new definition of producer, to regulate the online purchase of tyres, which is one of the fraud flows to be resolved immediately.
If a foreign company sells tyres online without complying with environmental responsibilities, it will be the digital vehicle used: Amazon, Aliexpress… etc., who must assume that responsibility. In this way, another path of non-compliance with environmental responsibilities by certain producers is closed.
Another novelty introduced in the new Law that was analysed at the conference is Article 18, which speaks of the prohibition of destroying products considered obsolete and that have not yet expired, which must be donated, sold at a discount, or recycled. A measure that prevents planned obsolescence and that will ensure that perfectly suitable tyres do not end up in waste or cement plants.
Javier de Jesús commented: “This article improves recycling and reuse policies. Historically, batches of new tyres have become obsolete because they have not been sold in a relatively brief period, and when they were introduced to the market, they caused a problem, not a legal one, because the tyres had not expired but in relation to the demands of the consumer (creating oversupply and downwards price pressure – ED). This article 18 requires that these tyres, like other non-perishable products; toys, textiles…etc., are put to use before they prematurely become waste.”