Commenting on the brick wall that European tyre recyclers have come up against in accessing domestic markets, especially in these unprecedented times, Chairman of the Tyre and Rubber Committee, Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), Max Craipeau, said Europe needs greater inclusion of recycled materials in new rubber compounds as well as ensuringtheir properties and safety for market use. Craipeau also suggested that the whole sector needs to “change its mindset and move towards a more circular approach to production.
According to Craipeau, the European Parliament should “step in,” just as it did for plastics: “Ten years ago, professional bottlers would have said it was not only impossible but also dangerous to incorporate recycled PET (rPET) in beverage bottles. Now, with the help of the legislator, major water and soda bottlers incorporate 25%, 50% and, in some cases, 100% rPET in their manufacturing processes.”
Craipeau further said that Europe’s market for recycled rubber will never improve unless regulators make a decisive move and impose minimum recycled contents for new products.He believes that mandatory recycled contents of 5-10% for tyres and 10-20% for technical rubber parts “are definitely workable.”
“With current technologies, it is possible to incorporate up to 10% regenerated rubber in a new tyre without really affecting its properties,” Craipeau added.