Material Recovery from German ELT Rises

Dr Stephan Rau

The material recovery from scrap tyres in Germany has again increased, while thermal recycling continues to decline. According to figures from the German Rubber Industry Association ( Wirtschaftsverbands der Deutschen Kautschukindustrie), the total amount of used tyres in 2018 was 583,000 tonnes. That was slightly less than the previous year.

Two-thirds of Waste Tyres Generated in Germany go to Material Recovery

While just under 34 per cent of the tyres produced in 2018 (196,000 tonnes) were thermally recycled, the material recycling rate is now well over 66 per cent. At 236,000 tonnes, the largest share was processed into granules and rubber powder. Other important forms of recycling of old tyres include the reuse of carcasses with 27,000 tonnes and the export of retreaded tyres, which amounted to 49,000 tonnes.

In a discussion about a ban on tyre granules for artificial turf pitches, the technical managing director of the association, Stephan Rau, warned that it would be counterproductive to condemn products made from recycled used tyres without a reliable factual basis. The information in a study on the discharge of small granules into the environment is incorrect, he said. For example, the responsible DIN standards committee has already pointed out that the database of this investigation is wrong.

The WdK managing director warned therefore, against a blanket condemnation of recycling products from old tyres without solid basis. Rather, it was necessary to promote the circular economy, as agreed in the political coalition agreement between the Union and the SPD parties.

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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