In an article, written by the European Rubber Journal, Ruud Burlet, chairman, Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) Tire & Rubber Committee, drew a roadmap for the future of tire recycling at the Future Tire Conference, 2016, 24-25 May in Essen, Germany.

In the interview, which Mr. Burlet gave to Future Tire organisers, he shared his views on the current state of the tire recycling market and what he hopes to see in the future.

European Rubber Journal: What are the main challenges ahead of the industry?

Ruud Burlet: First there is REACH and its implementations on the use of recycled materials. Who is responsible for the content of a recycled material?

Furthermore, the tire recycling industry is not uniform in its approach towards government (European and National) and lacks a well-functioning platform that can be a serious counterpart and partner of the tire industry.

ERJ: Over recent years, what do you see as the most significant development to have happened in the tire industry?

RB: The tire recyclers that do flourish well are either connected/integrated with collectors or they have multiple plants in different locations or have a strong (niche) market into specialised end products.

Just being a tire recycler is a difficult way to survive…

ERJ: What single development would do most to improve the future of the tire industry and why?

RB: The use of recycled tires to produce new tires and for recycled tires to be seen as replacement of basic tire raw materials would change the market from push to pull; accelerating the market enormously. For this we have come to a turning point. The technology is now available and the larger tire producer are more open to this concept then ever…

ERJ: Looking into the crystal ball, what big changes do you expect to see in tires and the tire industry by 2030?

RB: An old tire will be seen as basic raw material for use in manufacturing new rubber products. This will make industry less dependent on importing oil and NR rubber.

About Ruud Burlet:

Ruud has a BSc in Chemistry.

He joined DSM in the polymer department and looked after several functions within R&D. In 1994, he joined Vredestein as general manager of their rubber recycling activities, acquiring and leading activities in The Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa and the US, which was later taken over by ELGI Rubber Co. Ltd India in 2011.

Burlet is now actively responsible for their recycling and compounding operations and also serves as the president of their European activities, including Russia Northern Africa and Turkey.

Original article on the European Rubber Journal 

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