BIR has called for mandatory inclusion of recyclates in new rubber compounds.
BIR Tyre Committee Lobbies for Recycled Rubber Mandate
As part of the BIR Global eForum there were a series of Spotlight Sessions on various waste sectors. According to its moderator Michael Lion of Everwell Resources Ltd in China, the aim of the Spotlight session was to offer support to members by addressing the practical aspects and “mutual anxieties” of running businesses of all sizes in these “unprecedented times”. Mr Lion, who is also Chairman of BIR’s International Trade Council, went on to declare that “forbearance and understanding are very important at the moment” and that “patience is the watchword”, particularly in the sensitive area of dispute resolution.
Greencore Resources founder Max Craipeau, who also serves as the tyre and rubber committee chairman, urged the European Parliament to “step in, just as it did for plastics.
“Ten years ago, professional bottlers would have said it was not only impossible but also dangerous to incorporate recycled PET in beverage bottles,” Craipeau said. “Now, with the help of the legislator, major water and soda bottlers incorporate 25 percent, 50 percent and, in some cases, 100 percent rPET in their manufacturing processes.”
Craipeau suggested that there is a need for the whole sector – to “change mindset and move towards a more circular approach to production. There needs to greater inclusion of recycled materials in new rubber compounds, so long as there is no great impact upon properties.
Recognising the brick wall that European tyre recyclers have come up against in accessing domestic markets, Craipeau added; “Europe‘s market for recycled rubber will never improve unless regulators make a decisive move and impose minimum recycled contents for new products.
“We are getting closer and closer to real devulcanisation and, with current technologies, it is possible to incorporate around 10 per cent regenerated rubber in a new tyre without really affecting its properties,” he said.
Noting that Europe had “one of the best feedstocks in the world” for making regenerated rubber, Craipeau believes that mandatory recycled contents of 5-10 per cent for tyres and 10-20 per cent for technical rubber parts “are definitely workable.”