While a ban on sending whole or shredded tyres to landfill came into effect on 16 July 2006, all British airlines and over 40% of UK-wide commercial vehicles now use retreads as standard procedure.
However, the slow uptake in Wales has prompted the Wales Environment Trust (WET) to suggest that the country will be swamped by used tyres unless more businesses use retreads as standard procedure.
WET business development executive Richard Carter said: I think the main reason businesses are reluctant to make the switch to retreads is the incorrect perception that the quality isnt as good, but this couldnt be further from the truth.
Retreads are subject to even more stringent safety standards than new tyres, so the quality being produced is very high. The proof is in the fact that all UK airlines use retreads on all their planes and safety is a huge priority for them.
The organisation has been working closely with Rhayader-based Maxsport which produces retreads, to educate the public on the environmental benefits of using such tyres.
Carter added: Of course, retreads can save the environment and that should be a strong motivating factor for any modern business. Kitting out a vehicle fleet with retreads will help tackle the environmental impact of waste tyres in Wales, which is now a very real concern.
If every commercial vehicle in Wales had retread tyres, it would conserve nearly 7,500 tonnes of material every year, but we need to start now if we are going to solve the problem.
Most of the WET staff have switched, with Carter challenging other organisations and businesses to look at their own tyre procurement and fleet management policies.
For more information, visit www.walesenvtrust.org.uk.