New Zealand Determined to Reinvent the Wheel

Eugenie Sage
Eugenie Sage of New Zealand's Green Party

The spectre of New Zealand’s waste tyre issue seems to just keep growing. Despite a working party having put forward a plan that would see a tyre recycling scheme financed through a tax on imports (New Zealand has no domestic tyre manufacturing, so taxing imports is the easy way to control the fees), the government has shelved proposals already available and has begun planning a scheme from scratch.

Is New Zealand's Waste Tyre Issue Due to Grow?

Of course, the initial proposal mirrored the tax concept that was trialled in South Africa through REDISA, but with a different set of local factors, proposers claim that it would have worked in New Zealand.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has announced a new work programme to tackle waste, despite one being drawn up years ago.

At the moment the vehicle owner pays a $5 levy to the retailer, say a tyre shop. They hold on to that $5 and use it to pay the recycler when they turn up to take away all the tyre shop's old tyres.

But there's scope for fake recyclers to scam the system.

In 2011, the National government asked industry members to find a solution and they did.

Their answer was for a $5 levy to be paid by the importer to a trust when the tyre arrives in the country. That money would fund an organised pick-up and drop-off system for all used tyres, and businesses would then bid for the supply of those tyres to use them in innovative ways.


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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