The ECHA investigation into microplastics may effectively ban the use of <5mm crumb rubber infill in artificial sports surfaces. In discussion with Fazilet Cinaralp, CEO at the ETRMA, and others at Future Tire in Cologne, Cinaralp stated that it looked like the microplastics consultation would lead to a ban on rubber infill.
ECHA Investigation Set to Ban Use of Crumb Rubber Infill
This would have a serious impact on the tyre recycling sector as the majority of material recovery from ELT is used in sports field and rubber infill. Around 39% of tyre arisings are used in granulate form in sports surfaces (ETRA). This could put an estimated 400,000 tonnes of tyre material back into the recycled tyre market, which would have devastating impacts upon recyclers dedicated to granulate production, and the associated supply chain. It could also impact upon the export value of waste going to India.
The ETRMA recognise that there is potentially a crisis coming if this matter cannot be addressed and Cinaralp suggested that the industry would be approaching the EU to seek a derogation or delay in favour of the tyre sector to allow the industry time to address the coming challenge.