TRA Welcomes India's Call for Stricter Waste Tyre Export Controls

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Tyre Recovery Association (TRA)
Published on
February 21, 2024

In a bid to address the alarming surge in the export of end-of-life tyres (ELTs) and tackle environmental challenges, India is calling for stricter regulations on the export of waste tyres. The call has been welcomed by the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA), shedding light on the extent of the environmental impact caused by large-scale exports, especially from European nations.

Anshuman Singhania, Chairman of India's Automotive Tyre Manufacturers' Association (ATMA), expressed concerns over the staggering statistic that India imported around 800,000 tonnes of scrapped tyres between April and November 2023, with the UK identified as one of the leading exporters.

Figures from the UK reveal an annual export of approximately 300,000 tonnes of end-of-life tyres, despite having at least 150,000 tonnes of licensed idle domestic recycling capacity. This discrepancy raises questions about the UK's commitment to addressing its own waste management issues.

According to Singhania, 10-15% of India's imported ELTs are used as replacement tyres, while the remainder goes to outdated and highly polluting batch-pyrolysis processes. The situation prompted India's Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to propose a colour-coded categorization system in December 2023, aiming to enhance compliance and promote the adoption of new technologies.

The pyrolysis sector, a significant contributor to pollution, was categorized as orange, indicating a step towards improved licensed plants and a crackdown on the most toxic practices. This move is crucial to addressing the environmental concerns surrounding the disposal of whole end-of-life tyres, often exported in bales.

The TRA has applauded the collaborative effort between ATMA, the CPCB, and the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change to implement these regulations. Peter Taylor OBE, Secretary General of the TRA, expressed gratitude for the initiative, highlighting the inadequacy of the UK government's response to TRA demands for tighter export controls.

Taylor emphasized the need for the UK to update its regulatory framework, especially in light of Singhania's call for size reduction (shredding) of tyres prior to import to India. The TRA urges the UK government to follow the successful Australian example, allowing only shredded tyres for export.

The TRA also pointed to Prashanth Doreswamy, President and CEO of Continental Tyres India, who has called for new regulations in India to restrict the import of waste tyres and permit only shredded ones. The TRA contends that the UK government must take immediate action to stop environmental abuses and support India's efforts in curbing the import of whole end-of-life tyres.

As the evidence mounts, the TRA insists that the UK government must acknowledge its role in enabling environmental harm and work towards sustainable and responsible waste tyre management practices.

This call for action resonates with India's manufacturers, urging the UK government to do the right thing and put an end to environmental abuses associated with the export of waste tyres.

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