Dear Readers,

Month by month, our Weibold academy series dwells deeper into the world of tire recycling and highlights different sides of this business. In case you have missed our previous articles, you can find the links at the end of this post.

Tire recycling regulations in Europe

Used and end-of-life tires can be managed in different ways depending on a variety of economic factors and legislative issues in a country. In Europe, there are three different models of managing used and waste tires. The majority of the EU’s countries implemented producer responsibility system, whereas some of EU members have a free market system of scrap tire management and some – government responsibility system financed through tax. Below, we cite the European Tire and Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA), which provides definitions and describes tire recycling regulations governing scrap tires in Europe.

Free market system

Under the liberal system, the legislation sets the objectives to be met but does not designate responsible bodies. In this way, all the operators in the recovery chain contract under free market conditions and act in compliance with the legislation.

This may be backed up by voluntary cooperation between companies to ensure best practices. Liberal market systems operate in Austria, Switzerland, Germany and the UK. United Kingdom has a managed free market, i.e. scrap tire collectors and tire recycling companies report directly to national authorities.

Responsibility of government

Throughout the European Union, the government responsibility system funded via taxes is used only in Denmark and Croatia. Under the taxation mechanims, each country is responsible for the scrap tire management. The system is funded via taxes levied on tire manufacturers.

As a rule, tire manufacturers want to ensure that their end-of-life products – scrap tires – are dealt with in an environment-friendly manner. According to the government responsibility system, tire manufacturer is only responsible for ensuring that his products have a suitable recycling and recovery route.

With this regard, the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA) writes:

“The challenge is to collect and recover all tyres and prevent them from going to illegal landfill, or to manage their export to ensure that their destination is acceptable to European requirements i.e. that they are being treated in equivalent environmental conditions as in Europe and fulfil the legal prescriptions of the EU Waste Shipment Directive.”

ETRMA adds that in Europe, various management plans have a mission to ensure that the required environmental standards are met and all parties do their best to ensure compliance with the regulations. However, when not taken care of by scrap tire management companies, “tires leaving EU borders may not be fully traceable as to their final destination.” ETRMA perceives this as a weakness that needs to be addressed by stronger tire recycling regulations around the world.

Extended Producer Responsibility

Producer responsibility means that the tire manufacturer is fully or partially liable for a product which reaches a post-consumer stage of its life cycle. Namely, under this system, the tire manufacturer is liable of ensuring that the tires which reach end-of-life stage are disposed of responsibly and in an environment-friendly way.

In this system, the producer is responsible for the waste that the consumer generates. The law defines the legal framework and assigns the responsibility to the producers, i.e. tire manufacturers and importers, to organize and carry out scrap tire management.

Description of extended producer responsibility system. Infographics: ETRMA

According to ETRMA, the extended producer responsibility is “followed through in various ways from a single scrap tire management company carrying out tire collection and treatment in a country (such as in Portugal, the Netherlands or Sweden), through multiple ELT management companies (such as in Italy, France or Spain) or through individual producer responsibility (Hungary).”

The law entitles these companies to collect and handle scrap tires in amounts equivalent to the volumes of tires “sold individually or collectively by affiliated companies during the same year or the year before.”

Funding of tire collection and tire recycling is carried out through environmental contribution charged upfront by scrap tire companies companies from the affiliated tire manufacturers and tire importers. The fee is initially collected by tire manufacturers and distributors and passed on to scrap tire management companies.

In most the EU countries, tire manufacturers prefer extended responsibility system.

To order our consulting services and studies about scrap tire regulations, send us an inquiry to and we will help you build successful tire recycling business.

Links to our previous articles:

  1. Welcome to weibold! Academy
  2. weibold! Academy: Recycled Rubber Output Spectrum and Rubber Granulates
  3. weibold! Academy: Rubber Granulates, Rubber Powder, Tire Derived Steel and Tire Derived Fiber
  4. weibold! Academy: Tyre Recycling Value Chain
  5. weibold! Academy: Applications for Tyre Recycling Plant Output
  6. weibold! Academy: Rubber Granulate Applications
  7. weibold! Academy: Rubber Powder Applications – Rubber Industry
  8. weibold! Academy: Rubber Powder Applications – Surface Coatings
  9. weibold! Academy: Success Factors in the Tire Recycling Industry
  10. weibold! Academy: Understanding Tire Recycling Technology
  11. weibold! Academy: Total Quality Management in Tire Recycling
  12. weibold! Academy: Applications for Fibers from End-of-Life Tires
  13. weibold! Academy: Safety and health effects of crumb rubber infill in artificial turf
  14. weibold! Academy: Tire pyrolysis – products and applications
  15. weibold! Academy: Tire-derived fuel in cement production
  16. weibold! Academy: How to improve tire collection in small cities
  17. weibold! Academy: How to prevent tire fires
  18. weibold! Academy: Recycled tires in railroad construction
  19. weibold! Academy: Basics about tire-derived fuel
  20. weibold! Academy: Waste tires in civil engineering
  21. weibold! Academy: How to create your own sandals from used tires
  22. Weibold Academy: Sustainable rubber powder composites
  23. Weibold Academy: How recycled tires enhance safety of children on playgrounds
  24. Weibold Academy: Recycled tires in footwear manufacturing
  25. Weibold Academy: Advantages and the current state of tire retreading industry
  26. Weibold Academy: Basics about rubberized asphalt
  27. Weibold Academy: What to consider before buying tire recycling equipment