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Volkswagen joins Tyre Stewardship Australia

Circular economy: Tyre Stewardship Australia is helping develop new markets for products made from recycled tyres.

Responsible disposal of tyres ‘incumbent upon’ car sales business: VW Australia

23 Jul 2019

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia (VGA) has become the nation’s first vehicle importer to become an official contributor to Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), with 100 dealers around the country signed up to have their used tyres disposed of by a TSA-accredited collector or recycler.


The company joins TSA members Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear Dunlop, Kumho, Michelin, Pirelli, Toyo and Yokohama that are working with the industry co-operative to responsibly manage the 56 million tyres that are discarded each year in Australia.


VGA managing director Michael Bartsch described tyres at “a by-product of the car sales business”.


“The necessity to have used tyres responsibly disposed of or appropriately recycled is incumbent upon us,” he said, adding that the company intends to source tyres from fellow TSA co-signatories where possible.


Of the 450,000 tonnes of tyres that reach their end of life in Australia each year, just 10 per cent are recycled locally, according to TSA.


TSA chief executive Lina Goodman cited the development of new markets for tyre-derived products as one of the organisation’s key objectives.


“TSA has been instrumental in providing necessary funds, resources and expertise towards promoting the use of rubber in a variety of traditional applications including road, rail and new product development,” Ms Goodman said.


“We intend to divert a further 40,000 tonnes of waste tyres to new value-added segments.”


There are now around 1600 TSA-accredited tyre retailers, recyclers and collectors operating in Australia and TSA says it has so far committed $4 million to projects that turn old tyres into products that can be used for building roads, paving and soft tracks for equine and athletics facilities.


Accredited retailers include Beaurepaires, Bob Jane T-Marts, Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear Autocare, Jax Tyres, K-Mart Tyre & Auto Service (to be renamed Mycar), Michelin Service Centres, RACV, Tyre Plus, Tyrepower and Tyres & More.


Trials of a new road surface made from a mixture including material from recycled tyres began late last year in the Adelaide suburb of Mitcham. The 335-metre stretch of road used rubber from around 850 tyres.


“We congratulate Volkswagen Australia for taking this important initiative to drive positive environmental outcomes,” said Ms Goodman.


Mr Bartsch added: “Through Tyre Stewardship Australia, most of the major tyre brands are financially contributing to ensure that the environmental impact of their business is continually diminished. Volkswagen Australia is proud to be the first auto-maker to become a TSA contributor.”

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