Department of the Environment

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The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

Australian Government welcomes ACCC decision on industry's Tyre Stewardship Scheme

Media release
12 April 2013

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water Services, Amanda Rishworth MP, has congratulated the tyre industry on receiving the green light for a national Tyre Stewardship Scheme. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced it will give the go ahead for the tyre recycling scheme. The decision paves the way for the tyre industry to implement the scheme and start addressing a growing environmental issue for Australia.

“The ACCC’s decision is great news for the environment,” Ms Rishworth said. “When up and running, the scheme will help increase domestic tyre recycling, expand the market for tyre-derived products and reduce the number of Australian end-of-life tyres that are sent to landfill, illegally dumped or exported.”

“Currently the vast majority of Australia’s end-of-life tyres are disposed of through landfill, exported, stockpiled or illegally dumped.

“Only a small proportion of these tyres are recycled or used as a fuel for energy. Under the new scheme, tyre importers, distributors, consumers, collectors and recyclers will work towards ensuring the vast majority of end-of-life tyres are dealt with in an environmentally friendly way.”

Ms Rishworth said disposal through landfill, dumping or export represents the loss of a valuable resource.

“End-of-life tyres and associated products can be put to environmentally sound use, including the manufacture of new rubber products, as a constituent in asphalt roads and in surfaces such as sporting fields and playgrounds.”

The environmental impact of not recycling tyres is significant. Each passenger car tyre contains approximately 1.5 kg of steel, 0.5 kg of textiles and 7 kg of rubber. To give some sense of the scale of this issue, in Australia in 2009-10, 48 million tyre Equivalent Passenger Units (EPU) reached end of life, an increase of approximately 14  per cent from 2007-08.

The tyre industry will fund the operation of the scheme, including research and market development to increase the diversion of end-of-life tyres to environmentally friendly uses. The scheme is voluntary and open to stakeholders throughout the tyre supply chain.

Ms Rishworth said Australian governments have worked to address this issue for many years.

“Assisting industry to develop a voluntary, industry-led stewardship scheme for end-of-life tyres is a priority initiative under the COAG-endorsed National Waste Policy.”

The scheme is expected to commence operation later this year. Once established, Tyre Stewardship Australia is expected to apply for accreditation under the voluntary provisions of the Product Stewardship Act 2011.

Further information on the scheme can be found at: www.scew.gov.au/strategic-priorities/tyres.html