On 26-27 October in Prague the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) World Recycling Convention gathered leaders of the main industry associations representing tire recyclers and tire manufacturers in Europe, who met for the first time in years.

BIR ArticleFazilet Cinaralp of the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) and Dr Valerie Schulman of the European Tyre Recycling Association (ETRA) shared a platform at the forum, which was the BIR tyres & rubber committee meeting.

Committee chairman Ruud Burlet welcomed the “historic meeting of people who have not been meeting each other for years” and highlighted the need for tire makers and recyclers to unite in order to address common issues.

BIR Article 2According to Burlet, who is also managing director of recycling company Rubber Resources BV, based in Maastricht, The Netherlands, “the only way we can counter the threats and make use of the opportunities is if we cooperate, join forces and stand as one”.

As an example Burlet outlined the EU’s attempts on banning the usage of tire rubber in sports fields, which represents about one third of the market for the recycled material. He told the committee meeting staged on day 1 of the BIR global gathering that “this is already on the verge of happening, so you really have to counteract this”.

Approving the call for unity, the ETRMA secretary general Cinaralp highlighted the following key issues to be addressed: producer responsibility, standardisation and balancing the requirements of the EU’s circular economy agenda with the objectives of the REACH chemicals safety regulations.

“We are really entering a new era, where we have to organize ourselves to ensure this raw material is used in the best possible ways,” she said. “We need to find a way of truly working together and having a constructive dialogue.”

The ETRA secretary general Schulman said for the recyclers: “What I’ve learnt today is that all of us presenting here are looking from different perspectives. This, I think, is what will give us a base to work together.”

Schulman also stressed the need for recyclers to have good quality market information, particularly on scrap tire arisings, and emphasized the sector’s progress in developing new applications for recycled tire materials.

Article and photo source: http://www.european-rubber-journal.com/2015/10/27/industry-leaders-unite-historic-recycling-meeting/