The purpose of the commitment is the promotion of the recycling and recovery of end-of-life tires (ELTs) through standardisation.
Though there are many possible applications for materials from ELTs, one of the main barriers is the lack of knowledge from potential users about the applications itself and the properties of ELTs derived products and its specifications.
The development of test methods for the characterisation of ELT’s materials and their inclusion in standards will contribute to its use as commodities, increasing the European market and avoiding the exportation of this material.
Establishing a quality and environmental criteria for those materials will lead to a sustainable circular business model for tyres with an impact on economy and environment and will help to bring new applications, technology exchanges and innovation, while protecting the environment
Most of the activities of this commitment are related to the work of the standardization technical committee CEN/TC 366 “Materials from end of life tyres”. The main activities are:
1. Identification of potential test methods and standards to be developed
In the technical committee CEN/TC 366 it has been developed the technical specification CEN/TS 14243 Materials produced from end of life tyres - Specification of categories based on their dimension(s) and impurities and methods for determining their dimension(s) and impurities. The experience gained since its publication shows that a further job needs to be done to complement this document.
This first activity is to identify precisely which standards need to be developed; properties, test methods and t applications.
2. Development of Standards for test methods, including the validation-adaptation-development
This is the core activity. It is expected to elaborate documents having the status of European Technical specifications (TS), but other options will be explored.
The whole development process of a standard collection could take a long time and the commitment is to propose the documents, not necessarily to publish the final document within the target dates.
Currently in CEN/TC 366 there are represented, producers and management companies, consumers and laboratories. This commitment intends to increase the participation of more European stakeholders. In fact, just the announcement of the intention of presenting this commitment brought the interest of some key stakeholders in the Administration.
There are many documents which could be potentially used to develop methods. Particularly, in rubber industry there are many test methods for physical and chemical characterization, but might not be directly used for ELTs derived materials. Therefore the work could be the validation, adaptation or development of test methods.
It is expected that this could bring the production of new equipment.
3. Development of guidelines for applications and pilot implementation
The use of ELTs derived materials in some applications faces the barrier of the lack of knowledge and trust of the market. Therefore, guidelines documents for the requirements to ELTs materials in some applications will be developed to overcome this issue. E.g. whole tyres could be used in playgrounds for different purposes (to build a swing or the base of a slide), and some requirements on size, substances release, avoidance of cuts, etc. should be considered.
These guidelines might not be developed on CEN/TC 366, but appropriate liaison with relevant committees will be established.
For some applications, some pilot implementations might be selected, as they will also serve as demonstrative projects.
The promotion and diffusion amongst stakeholders and more specifically, the companies recovering ELTs is very important, so they can use the standardized test methods and quality criteria at their production facilities.
The partners selected are committed to help in this issue. They are active members in sector events and different fora and also have newsletters and other dissemination tools. A proper diffusion plan will be developed based on their experience.
Furthermore, one of the identified barriers for the development of new applications and markets is the lack of appropriate reference documents in which consumers could base the decision for buying those secondary raw materials. The use of standards and the existence of secondary raw materials fulfilling those standards is expected to open new markets and new applications
The Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC) has banned the landfilling of end-of-life tyres (ELT) since July 2006. Since then several management systems under the scheme of producer’s responsibility have been created in the EU for collecting, recycling and recovering end-of-life tyres. Nearly 3 million t of used tyres arise annually in the UE27, but only one third of them return to market as secondary raw material.
During the decade 2000 to 2010 rubber scraps and granulates exported outside EU has passed from 25.000 t to near 200.000 t and probably the tendency today is even to a higher increase of this movement.
This commitment intends to change these figures, increasing the amount of ELTs recovered in Europe. The action will also:
Improve the European internal market, facilitating simplified and harmonized rules to be applied.
Improve the efficient use of natural resources, or the preservation of raw materials.
Improve the social acceptance of material and products made with secondary raw material. Professional consumers of those materials do not perceive rubber granulates and powder as a valuable source of materials.
Facilitate the implementation of new applications based on ELTs derived materials.
Contribute to economic and social development of local communities, by creating new companies based on the production of goods that now are being produced in countries with lower social, environmental and quality requirements.
Any proposal by the European Commission of end-of-waste criteria needs substantial technical preparation. One of the main impacts of this commitment is the possibility for EU Authorities to establish end-of-waste criteria for the rubber and textile fractions obtained from end of life.
Managing the whole process
Leading the standardization process
Ensuring all the partners play their assigned roles