Legislation Impacting End of Life Tyres (ELT) in the EU

A brief description and overview of legislation impacting on ELT Management can be seen below in the accompanying table, click here for links to the Policies Relating to Waste Management. The categorization of Depolymerisation (Pyrolysis) as incineration in the Waste Framework Directive will have an effect on the Planning, Design and Construction of the DEPOTEC prototype plant. 


Action Impacting Tyre Recycling

1975 Directive on Waste 75/442/EEC; 91/156EC ELT are classified as “non hazardous waste”.
1999 Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC): Includes a total ban on the landfilling of passenger car and truck tyres (whole tyres by 2003 and shredded tyres by 2006).
2000 End-of-Life-Vehicle Directive (2000/53/EC): Vehicle dismantlers are required to remove tyres prior to vehicle demolition to ensure that tyres and/or tyre parts do not go to landfills. 85% of scrap tyres to be recovered starting in 2006 increasing to 95% by 2015, Tyres to be dismantled from vehicles increasing ELT arising by 10%
Incineration of Waste Directive (2000/76/EC): Fixes emission standards for all cement kilns starting in 2002, Older cement kilns prohibited from burning ELT after 2008.
2003 COM(2003)572 Towards a thematic strategy on the Sustainable use of natural resources with a focus on material recycling : Stated the Commission’s goal of becoming a recycling society as a means of reducing reliance upon natural resources and substituting secondary materials.
2005 COM(2005)666 Taking sustainable use of resources forward : Prevention and recycling of waste ; The waste hierarchy was further defined and a working definition of ‘recycling’ provided
COM(2005)670 Thematic strategy on the sustainable use of natural resources (Annexes, IA) : reaffirms the five-step management hierarchy
2006 Regulation (EC) 1013/2006 Revisions on the shipments of waste – Requirements for the notification of waste transports were strengthened, requiring complete notifications of wastes, including tyres, within the EU
REACH Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 and Directive 2006/121/EC adapting 67/548 EEC to REACH : (Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) applies to all chemicals, making industry bear responsibility to manage the risks posed by chemicals and provide appropriate safety information to their users. Requiring the registration of substances – including those that have been recycled, including tyres and granulate, etc. Click here for to the EC 1907/2006 Regulation.
2008 Revised Framework Directive on Waste 2008/98/EC : Focuses on the EU becoming a ‘recycling society’. It includes the five-step hierarchy, definitions of recycling and by-products, and when ‘waste ceases to be waste’, identifying tyres as a target for identifying specific criteria for EOW status.
Depolymerisation itself is not incineration as there is no direct combustion, however if the gas that is produced from the process is subsequently burned, the overall process is classified as incineration according to EC legislation. As shown below in Figure 1, combustion occurs with the presence of chlorine, heat and oxygen with resulting dioxins being produced. This however is not the case with depolymerisation as shown in Figure 2 which results in no dioxins being produced.


Fig.1 Combustion Producing a Dioxin Text Box: No DioxinFig.2 Depolymerisation without Production of Dioxins
Currently in Europe a number of Tyre Management Models exist as shown in Figure 3, these include;

  • Producer Responsibility: The law defines the legal framework and assigns the responsibility to the producers (tyre manufacturers and importers) to organize the management chain of end of life tyres. This led to the setting-up of a not-for-profit company financed by tyre producers aiming at managing collection and recovery of end of life tyres through the most economical solutions
  • Tax System: Under the tax system each country is responsible for the recovery and recycling of the end of life tyres. It is financed by a tax levied on tyre production and subsequently passed on to the customer. This is an intermediate system whereby the producers pay a tax to the State, which is responsible overall for the organisation and remunerates the operators in the recovery chain.  
  • Free Market System: Under this system the legislation sets the objectives to be met but does not designate those responsible. In this way all the operators in the recovery chain contract under free market conditions and act in compliance with legislation. This may be backed up by voluntary cooperation between companies to promote best practices.
Fig.3 EU Tyre Management Model