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Recycling of discarded tyres in Europe stable

Almost 95% of end-of-life tyres in 32 European countries were collected and treated for material recycling and energy recovery in 2019, reports the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA).

The organisation has published consolidated data covering EU27, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK. The figure is ‘quite comparable’ to treatment rates in previous years, as it typically fluctuates between 92% and 95%. ‘The European tyre industry is committed to an innovative and sustainable economy,’ ETRMA says.

The vast majority of recycling stakeholders operate under an extended producer responsibility scheme. Secondary raw materials from used tyres are especially important for the construction and automotive sector as well as cement production.

The detailed analysis of the data (see table below) shows that used tyres in Europe totalled 3.45 million tonnes in 2019, down 3% compared to 2018.

About 1.88 million tonnes of discarded tyres were processed via mechanical recycling. This figure includes 1.34 million tonnes sent to granulation process; 458 000 tonnes incorporated into cement; 82 300 tonnes used in civil engineering applications. Other minor applications such as pyrolysis, steel mills and foundries complete this figure. Some 1.37 million tonnes of tyres went for energy recovery.

The quantity of tyres stocked or unknown and awaiting treatment is half compared that of the previous year – amounting to 170 000 tonnes.

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