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Government working on tyre recycling norms

The new legislation expected to help the trade to be organised

The Government of India is working on a new legislation for tyre recycling, which could change the way tyre manufacturers work in a long run. A draft of the regulation is under the consideration of the Ministry of Environment and Forest now.

The draft waste tyre management rules envisage the creation of authorised waste collection and storage centres. An integrated waste tyre management plan is to be submitted with an assessment of quantities and types of tyres that will become late tyres, how the waste tyres will be managed, provide options for recycling/re-use or recovery, the mechanism to ensure safe disposal of waste tyres etc.

This would mean that the business of tyres waste or used tyres, or partly used tyres will get more organised, which is positive, says the industry.

The collection and reuse of the used tyres are very unregulated and with some physical locations where tyres are available in required numbers or a critical mass, which could help regular availability of tyres for the retrading industry or the tyre industry itself which may want to retrade used tyres.

Automotive Tyre Manufacturers' Association (ATMA) along with TESS (Technology, Environment, Safety and Standards) are working with the government on the legislation.

"The key points under this include recycling options for waste tyres to include (but not limited to) reclaimed rubber, crumb rubber, tyre derived fuel etc and a prohibition on disposal of waste tyres in a manner that is likely to cause pollution," said Rajiv Budhraja, director general, ATMA.

"The new legislation that is being drawn by the Government will make it mandatory for tyre manufacturers and dealers to dispose of end-of-life tyres," said Arun K Bajoria, director and president (International Operations) at JK Tyres. "By making the industry accountable towards the environment, the proposed legislation is a step towards the right direction," he said.

JK Tyre has initiated an eco-friendly disposal of tyres and started the 'Soles with souls' initiative where used tyres were converted into footwear and fashion accessories.

However, on the flip side for these companies, it could impact the sales of new tyres, said industry sources.

The main requirement to set up a collection centre would be land and logistics and anybody who has these resources. Industry experts said that the biased truck tyre and tractor tyres, which are from natural rubber, are good for retrading and the recycling potential for Indian tyres are between 1.5 to 2 times which could go up to six times if the road condition is good, while the Chinese tyres have a recycling potential of less than one time. If the regular availability of tyres can be ensured, it could even result in development of centres which can recycle passenger car tyres, which at present is difficult owing to lack of proper capacity.

Tyre companies may have better access to better sourcing of collection of tyres and it may also encourage tyre companies to go in more investments towards retrading and selling concept of full lifecycle of tyre, said experts. Instead of one cycle or one usage of tyre, it would be possible for the companies to take ownership of the entire lifecycle of tyres.