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'Responsible retailer' scheme launched for tyres

A Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) ‘Responsible Retailer’ initiative, to encourage garages and tyre retailers to demonstrate their environmental credentials and help them manage disposal in line with industry best practice, has been launched.

Scheme members will also promote responsible tyre disposal to motorists.

Some 40 million used car and van tyres need to be recycled every year, the association’s president Mike Wilson said.

“The industry has already developed robust and effective practices to handle these and we now need to concentrate our efforts and encourage retailers to act responsibly as well,” he explained.

It has been illegal since 2006 to send waste tyres to landfill, and around 80% of the total is disposed of through the Tyre Industry Federation Responsible Recycler Scheme.

But the TRA said many tyres were still abandoned, illegally stored or exported making them the Environment Agency’s fourth top risk in terms of illegal waste site types.

Support for the initiative has come from the Environment Agency (EA), Motor Codes - the Government backed self-regulatory body for the motor industry – and the Independent Garage Association.

Mat Crocker, head of illegals and waste at the EA, said: “Illegal disposal of tyres including the burning of tyres can result in significant pollution of the environment and misery for people living nearby. 

“The Environment Agency welcomes this initiative that will better inform tyre retailers, support legitimate business and make it harder for criminals to dispose of tyres illegally.”

Business and energy minister Michael Fallon has also declared his support for the initiative.

Retailers signing up to the scheme will receive annual certification. A website will be launched, to include a postcode search facility to help retailers find a local collector and a list of garages signed up to the programme.

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