BRUSSELS—The European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers' Association has welcomed and joined a new European Commission initiative to further expand the union-wide end-of-waste (EoW) and by-product (BP) criteria, under the the European Waste Framework Directive.
EoW criteria specifies that when certain waste ceases to be waste and obtains a status of a product (or a secondary raw material). The directive describes by-products as a substance or object, resulting from a production process, the primary aim of which is not the production of that item.
The recently launched scoping exercise will be carried out during 2020-2021 and will help the commission further develop "harmonized criteria" for EoWs and byproducts under the circular economy perspective, ETRMA said in a Nov. 3 statement.
The criteria will allow by-products from production processes to be widely recognized in the union as "nonwasted" and will facilitate their use in the economy.
In addition, ETRMA said, the expanded criteria will allow waste to be recovered and widely recognized across the union "as a safe and high quality secondary raw material at the level to compete with raw materials."
This would enable the free shipping of waste to member states with minimum administrative burdens, the association added.
Stressing the importance of the move for the European tire industry, ETRMA called for the clarification of the criteria regarding end-of-life tire (ELT) rubber.
ELT rubber, it said, is "a high-quality material, able to meet strict requirements of resistance, aging and performance ... due to the fact that the source material—tires—have to meet strict material requirements."
End-of-life tires, the association added, are a high-quality source of secondary raw materials which have financial advantages and are easy to source with a reliable and European supply.
With "a robust and trustable homogenous regulatory framework across Europe," ETRMA said, there is potential to achieve greater material recovery rates for ELTs.
"Clarifying the change from waste to non-waste will be essential to boost the use of end-of-life tire rubber," it said.
This is because many regulations, like Declarations of Performance for construction products, or the REACH restriction of chemical substances only apply once the material has ceased to be "waste."
The non-waste recognition for ELT rubber is "of tremendous importance" for rubber products manufactured using recycled tires, the statement said.
"ETRMA is willing to help on this endeavor," it said. "The tire and rubber industry is committed to support the European Commission in developing a feasible and workable set of rules and, together, make the Green Deal a reality."