European Tyre Enterprise Ltd (ETEL), which owns the nationwide wholesale tyre distributor Stapleton’s Tyre Services and the Kwik Fit retail chain, is to acquire UK tyre recycling company Murfitts Industries.
Murfitts manufactures a variety of rubber granulate products by processing and repurposing post-consumer tyres, the equivalent of around 20 million car tyres/year, which it collects from a wide range of tyre manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers across the UK. These include ETEL, with Murfitts having been a long-term provider of post-consumer tyre collection and recycling services to ETEL.
Sean Tanaka, CEO of ETEL, said: “We have a long-standing relationship with Murfitts and even as separate companies our operations have been seamlessly connected, with joined up processes. This acquisition makes clear strategic sense as we can bring the responsible collection, processing, and re-manufacturing of tyre material under our own roof. This will ensure that customers, both retail and wholesale, can be confident that their used tyres are being processed in the most sustainable way possible.”
Murfitts adds it has invested significantly in its processes, developing a sophisticated system which enables it to recover the materials used in the production of tyres and repurpose them to manufacture innovative products. These are used in areas such as sports surfaces, pathways, children’s playgrounds, carpet underlay, modified asphalt and many other industrial applications. Its products are of such high quality that they are exported to markets across the globe.
Recognising the global focus on the reduction of waste and the need to support the circular economy through the re-use of materials, Murfitts has also been investing in R&D to improve material recovery and reduce the use of natural resources.
The company has been developing proprietary pyrolysis technology. This technology will help promote sustainability initiatives of the tyre industry by replacing one of major raw materials of tyres, carbon black, with a recycled product.
With its UK-wide collection and processing infrastructure in place, Murfitts has the ability to supply the consistent feedstock necessary for commercial-scale pyrolysis. Bringing the company into the ETEL group will enable Murfitts to invest in accelerating the development of this process and scale up the operations.
ETEL, in partnership with Murfitts, has responsibly collected over 50 million post-consumer tyres from motorists in its retail centres. Recently it has expanded the effort by responding to the strong demand of its Stapleton’s wholesale customers to collect tyres from them.
With Murfitts joining ETEL, the company is committed to further expanding its infrastructure to collect post-consumer tyres, as well as investing in the commercialisation of pyrolysis technology, to not only contribute to the reduction of waste, but also help make the entire tyre value chain more sustainable.