Consumers can now demand their used tyres go to genuine recyclers as the Australian government lends support to Tyre Stewardship Australia’s National Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme (TPSS) as part of the Australian government’s drive to minimise waste and create a greener future.
Australian Stewardship Programmes get Government Support
The Australian Government is taking its investment in product stewardship to close to $15 million and will now see a million sports shoes a year diverted from landfill, 200 tonnes of golf clubs recycled, as well as industrial tyres and commercial furniture.
Four new schemes join a range of organisations represented at the launch of the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence at Parliament House.
In just one of the newly funded schemes, a national pilot will see around 220 collection sites take in 200 tonnes of golf clubs, 10,000 basket balls and 700,000 tennis balls – usually destined for bins and landfill.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the new schemes are a slam dunk for the Government, which will invest an additional $4 million in product stewardship funding.
“We think that our product stewardship programs are really ace, and that is why we have now funded 19 projects to the tune of $14.6 million and established the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence,” Minister Ley said.
“This additional funding means we can create greater capacity in the recycling sector and with that, we will see more brands taking greater responsibility for reducing the environmental impacts of their products.”
Other schemes will see agriculture and mining tyres recycled into new products; one million sport shoes diverted from landfill and recycled into products like rubber sports and anti-fatigue matting and commercial furniture diverted from landfill.
“Whether you are dropping off an old set of tyres, mobile phone or coffee cup, Australians should be confident that their end-of-life products are going to live their best second or even third life,” Minister Ley added.
On Monday 15th March, the tyre scheme was recognised as a best practice product stewardship by the federal Government as part of the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence. The accreditation was further bolstered by significant funding to increase resource recovery associated with the Off-the-road sector and expanding the TPSS to include conveyor belts.
TSA CEO Lina Goodman warmly welcomed the announcement by The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment, saying it would provide confidence to consumers and industry that the Scheme’s positive environmental and human health outcomes had been independently verified.
The Scheme’s endorsement also meant consumers should ensure their tyre retailer is guaranteeing end-of-life-tyres are being recycled, Ms Goodman said.
“We’re really pleased to have been given the Australian Government’s stamp of approval for the Scheme under the new Recycling and Waste Reduction legislation. It will help drive stronger procurement policies, so that more Australians view the waste we create as the valuable resource it is.”
Australia generates the equivalent of 56 million end-of-life passenger tyres (EOLT) annually. Whilst 72% is re-used, recycled or upcycled, 28% of the volume is still disposed to landfill, buried or stockpiled.
The mismanagement of EOLT causes stockpiles, illegal dumping or burial in agricultural lands, all of which can lead to possible fires and a significant risk to human and environmental health.
“TSA’s mission is to deliver against circular economy principles, ensuring the lifecycle of tyres is maximised, the residual waste product is valuable, and the entire supply chain works cohesively to contribute to better sustainable outcomes,” Ms Goodman continued.
“In the five years since the voluntary Scheme’s inception, we now have more than 1700 participants from across the tyre supply chain including retailers, manufacturers, auto-brands, recyclers and collectors.
“Through our globally admired Market Development initiative, TSA has committed more than $6 million nationally to find innovative and entrepreneurial ways to manage the used tyres generated in Australia for greater productive outcomes.
“Our Foreign End Market (FEM) verification programme is the only global platform aimed at verifying that Australian-generated end-of-life-tyres are not causing environmental or social harm at their final destination.
“But while there is an incredible amount of goodwill, the Government’s accreditation will allow us to do more to address the issue of what I call ‘free riders’ – those organisations currently selling tyres into the Australian market, but not taking responsibility for them.
“These companies have been enjoying all the benefits of what TSA has to offer without contributing to the solution.
“The recent Recycling and Waste Reduction legislation means while the Government is making it easier for industry to set up and join in product stewardship schemes, they also have new tools to intervene and regulate when companies aren’t doing the right thing – including ‘naming and shaming’ those not participating in the Scheme.
“This accreditation will help TSA expedite the markets, funding and solutions associated with EOLT.”