Volkswagen Australia and its circa-100-strong dealer network has teamed up with the Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) to recycle the hundreds of thousands of used tyres that are disposed every year.
The first major car-making brand to pledge its commitment to the responsible disposal of old rubber, the tie-up will see the used rubber head to a TSA-accredited collectors and recyclers to be rebirthed in projects such as playground flooring and for use in laying roads.
Other TSA members include tyre manufacturers Goodyear, Bridgestone, Pirelli, Michelin, Kumho, Yokohama, Toyo and Continental, who all contribute financially to dispose of the 56 million tyres discarded every year in Australia.
According to the TSA, the used rubber amounts to 450,000 tonnes of material, of which only 10 per cent is recycled locally.
With 1600 accredited retailers, recyclers and collectors, the TSA has committed $4 million to recycling projects to date.
Volkswagen Group Australia boss Michael Bartsch said the brand “is proud to be the first auto maker to become a TSA contributor”.
“Tyres are a by-product of the car sales business and the necessity to have used tyres responsibly disposed of or appropriately recycled is incumbent upon us,” he said.
“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.
“Our intention is to wherever possible deal with tyre manufacturers who are TSA co-signatories.”
Meanwhile, TSA CEO Lina Goodman said the organisation will continue to strive for more rubber recycling in Australia.
“One of our key objectives is developing new markets for tyre-derived products,” she said.
“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. We intend to divert a further 40,000 tonnes of waste tyres to new value-added segments.
“We congratulate Volkswagen Australia for taking this important initiative to drive positive environmental outcomes.”
Do you think more car manufacturers should recycle their used tyres? Tell us what you think in the comments below.