Tyre recyclers demand regulatory overhaul

The Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) has reported that immediate action is “needed” to prevent the UK from becoming the “environmental sick man of Europe”.

Released on Tuesday 18 June, ahead of the general election, the TRA’s manifesto outlines environmental reforms the new government should deliver.

The manifesto criticised the persistence of “outdated regulations, which allow rogue operators to thrive while domestic capacity remains underutilised”.

According to the TRA, despite a commitment made six years ago to phase out the T8 exemptions regime, loopholes continue to be “exploited by irresponsible tyre traders”.  It stated that export protocols are often “disregarded, undermining producer responsibility and environmental standards”.

An FOI request from the body revealed minimal enforcement efforts by the Environment Agency, raising questions about regulatory efficacy.


Peter Taylor OBE, secretary general of the TRA, said: “The new government has no time to lose. It now has a clear and necessary agenda to implement. Despite the clear benefits and significant opportunities for the UK to reduce its carbon footprint, addressing environmental damage and grow its circular economy, the UK needs much stronger policy support to empower the responsible operators, strengthen domestic resilience and cut the level of export.

“The UK tyre recycling industry, represented by the TRA, looks forward to meeting the new environment secretary as part of our continuing to work with DEFRA, the Environment Agency and the parliamentary committees scrutinising government progress.”


Some recommendations in the TRA manifesto include the rigorous enforcement of export documentation, incentivising public procurement practices that support circular economy principles and ending T8 exemptions.

The manifesto also calls for aligning UK waste shipment regulations with the EU’s new rules to prevent the country from becoming a dumping ground for non-compliant practices.


Mr Taylor added: “By implementing the vital reforms set out in the TRA manifesto we are launching today, we can all work together in order to further contribute to the goal of  creating a Circular Economy, safeguarding our environment, increasing producer responsibilities and reducing the export of CO2 emissions.”

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