Is India About to Close the Door on ELT Imports?

pic of Rajiv Budhraja
Rajiv Budhraja, director general of the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association

The Times of India has highlighted the failings of the Indian tyre recycling system, and this should be a red flag to European recyclers who export to the country.

According to The Times of India, around 60% of end-of-life tyres (ELTs) might be getting dumped in landfill sites or being incinerated, a recent study released by NGO Chintan has revealed. The study, which is called ‘Circulating Tyres in the Economy’, further suggests that ELTs should be utilised in building new roads to reduce the burden on landfill sites, ensuring that they are optimally used.
According to data, 127.34 million tyres were produced in India in 2016-17 — an increase of 12% from the previous year — out of which 60% tyres ended up at landfill sites or were incinerated.
Experts feel that while policies exist to utilise tyres for new roads, its implementation is lacking and there needs to be a focus on that, which the report has suggested. “The explosion of ELTs requires that the rubber literally hits the roads so that it can be controlled. “Technology has to speak if we want environmental solutions to manage our landfill sites and control air and land pollution. We also need to implement our policies better,” said Bharati Chaturvedi, director at Chintan, adding that they hope the report is likely to boost efforts in this sector once again.

Rajiv Budhraja, director general of the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association, said that India is currently importing three lakh tonnes of tyres each year as there was currently no system of collection in India. He added that improvement is now expected under the new Waste Tyres Management Rules where tyre dealers have to maintain inventories of sales.

This should be a warning signal to those who export to India. When the country legitimises and codifies tyre recycling it will not need the huge volumes of imports it currently draws in. Another outlet for EU waste will close its doors and European markets will once again find themselves struggling to deal with the huge volumes of tyres that they currently export.

About the author

Ewan has been editor of Retreading Business since 2006 and of Tyre & Rubber Recycling since the magazine was founded. During this period he has become an expert on the global tyre recycling sector. He has many years' experience as an automotive journalist including a period at Tyres & Accessories.



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