Ecopneus helps Italy bring precious end-of-life tire rubber back in the loop
Ecopneus – an Italian end-of-life tire management authority – reports that over 220 thousand tons of end of life tires were collected by Ecopneus in 2019 which is 5% bigger compared to the authority’s official target.
Ecopneus says their work helped avoid 371 thousand tons of emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere and return 337 thousand tons of material into the production loop. In addition, the authority mentions that it helped reduce imports of raw materials for 112 million euros.
The end-of-life tire management system is referred to as a sector of excellence for the development of the country's circular economy and for environmental protection.
In 2019, Ecopneus collected over 220,000 tons of ELTs from approximately 25,000 tire dealers throughout Italy, exceeding the legal target by 5% . 43% of the ELTs collected went to energy recovery, while 57% was sent to the recovery of material to produce granules, rubber and steel powders used in the application sectors of recycled rubber: sports flooring (32%), furniture urban and play areas for children (8%), acoustic insulation for buildings (7%) and low-noise asphalts (1%).
The portion allocated to material recovery shows a constantly growing trend, to be read as a result of the consolidation of the industrial treatment system which has generated an improvement in terms of material quality and expansion of applications.
Ecopneus says it dedicates significant investments to Research and Development of the recycled rubber applications market (over 5% of annual revenues from 2011 to 2019), a sector to which it now looks with renewed enthusiasm thanks to the recent signing of the End Of Waste Decree. The measure will help stabilize the activities of recycling companies and stimulate the development of new products and applications for use, and in particular the use of recycled rubber powder in bituminous mixes for the production of “silent” and durable rubber-modified asphalts.
"The historical moment we are experiencing strongly indicates to us that the road to be taken for the recovery of the country is that of the circular economy,” declared the General Manager of Ecopneus Giovanni Corbetta.
“The results of Ecopneus in 2019 confirm the validity of the built system, founded on ethics, transparency and on effective and reliable tools. Today, thanks to the signing of the End Of Waste and the entry into full application of the new Ministerial Decree 182/2019, we have all the regulatory tools necessary to look to the next few years with renewed momentum and to continue to feed the virtuous circle of the ELT management system,” she added.
From 2011 to date, Ecopneus has collected over 2 million tons of end-of-life tires, of which over 130,000 tons are beyond its legal target. The authority says that the system managed by Ecopneus also generates considerable value in economic terms: only in 2019 Ecopneus redistributed an economic value of 56.5 million euros, 87% distributed to supply chain companies to cover the costs of collection, transport, treatment and recovery of ELTs. Ecopneus therefore guarantees stability to an entire supply chain and contributes to reducing the country's need for imported virgin raw materials for a value of 112 million euros.
Article by Ecopneus.