Producer Responsibility

The law defines the legal framework and assigns the responsibility to the producers (tyre manufacturers and importers) to organise the management chain of end of life tyres.

This led to the setting-up of a not-for-profit company financed by tyre producers aiming at managing collection and recovery of end of life tyres through the most economical solutions. A reporting obligation towards the national authorities provides a good example of clear and reliable traceability. In addition, these companies are able to develop high-level knowledge on technologies and build up additional R&D capacities. The annual investment in R&D is around € 5 million. For the end user, this system guarantees transparency of costs through a visible contribution, clearly indicated on the invoices.

This system appears to be the most suitable and robust for addressing and resolving end of life tyre arisings, in a sustainable manner for the long term, and to achieve a 100% recovery rate, in the most economical way. On the whole the tyre manufacturers have demonstrated a clear preference for this system and have deployed determination and commitment to take this route. Currently, 14 countries operate an ELT management company set up by tyre manufacturers and 18 countries have a producer responsibility regime. Discussions are on-going in other EU Member States to follow suit.

Source: ETRMA

Countries with a Producer Responsibility regime: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

Despite a still quite heterogeneous situation in Europe the remarkable progress that has been achieved is due largely to the proactive attitude of the profession. Even prior to the passing of the Landfill Directive in 1999, the industry had been active in taking action to organise the different players in the recovery chain with the creation of ELTs management companies/associations at national level.

The national associations, voluntary consortia, joint companies and boards that were set up jointly by tyre producers/importers to take responsibility for end of life tyres are financed in different manners according to the legal system prevalent in the country and these organisations in turn organise and manage the end of life recovery chain in different ways.

By professionalising the service providers – collectors, sorters and reprocessors – the goal is to significantly improve the recovery rate and traceability and develop applications with added value which utilise the full potential of the properties of rubber.

Promoting Producer Responsibility

Country arisings and recovery rates demonstrate that producer responsibility achieves more robust results than the purely market driven approach as well as the ultimate objective of 100% recovery whereby not only the annual arisings are recovered but the historic stockpiles are also progressively eliminated.

The 18 countries operating under a Producer Responsibility (PR) regime represent 64% of the total used tyres arisings in EU27+NO+CH+Turkey. The last country having adopted a Producer Responsibility regime being Italy in 2011.

ELT management companies set up by the tyre manufacturers are mandated to collect and organize the treatment of an equivalent amount (according to the principle 'one new tyre sold one worn tyre recovered') of the volumes of tyres sold collectively by these companies. The process is financed through an environmental fee generally applied to the product price, regardless of the location of the collection point. Thanks to the success of the scheme, this fee has decreased over time. The chain is managed by the ELT companies, from collection to recovery or recycling, with the support of a reliable and transparent traceability or auditing system.