BRUSSELS — European nations are collecting and treating 94 percent of the used tires they generate, according to the latest figures from the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers' Association (ETRMA).
After casings for retreading were removed, there were 3.29 million metric tons of end-of-life tires generated in Europe in 2016, the ETRMA said, up 100,000 tons from 2015.
Of these tires, roughly 1.9 million tons went for material recovery and 1.1 million tons for energy recovery, the association said. Granulation accounted for 75 percent of material recovery, and cement kilns for 81 percent of energy recovery, it said.
Granulation of scrap tires increased 9.3 percent in 2016 over 2015, and energy recovery increased by 2 percent, according to the ETRMA.
However, the use of whole or shredded scrap tires in civil engineering projects fell by 3 percent, and the use of scrap tires as blasting mats or dock bumpers declined 15 percent, it said.
European countries are adopting extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs for tires, according to the ETRMA. As of 2018, 23 European nations have tire EPR programs, with Czech Republic, Ireland and Slovak Republic the latest to adopt them, it said.
"The tire industry clearly supports the EPR model when it is backed by clear statutory requirements and provides a separate line on the invoice, showing the environmental contribution for ELT management, ensuring full transparency for both national authorities and to the end consumer," ETRMA Secretary General Fazilet Cinaralp said.
The ETRMA based its used-tire figures on management data from all 28 European Union countries as well as Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey, the association said.