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New standards to rubber stamp tyre recycling

With more than 100,000 used tyres removed from UK vehicles daily, a new initiative launched today by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and the Environment Agency will help businesses come to grips with the value of used tyres.

The Quality Protocol for the production and use of tyre-derived rubber materials, which was launched to consultation today, could make it easier and cheaper for industry to reprocess used tyres into valuable products like flooring, road surfacing, aggregates and footwear.

Martin Brocklehurst, Head of External Waste Programmes at the Environment Agency, said: “Placed end to end, the annual tyre waste of England and Wales would stretch from London to Cardiff more than 100 times. With so many cars, vans and trucks discarding tyres, we have potential to access more than 40,000 tonnes of recycled rubber.”

“A Quality Protocol could save businesses the time and costs associated with meeting waste regulations, by clearly defining the standards required to collect, transport, store, recycle and reuse rubber tyres, without harming human health and the environment.”

Under the Quality Protocol processed used tyres would no longer be classified as waste, making the recycled rubber more marketable and guaranteeing to customers that the material they buy will meet agreed quality standards.

Dr Richard Swannell from WRAP, said: “A Quality Protocol could therefore stimulate growth in the reprocessing sector, providing easier access to an important resource with a significant number of applications. With the launch of today's consultation we are keen to hear comments and feedback on these proposals.”

Recycled rubber from used tyres can be used for:

· Landscaping: bridleways, footpaths, paving, porous piping etc.

· Construction and civil engineering: aggregate, rubberised asphalt, landfill engineering, roof tiling, sewer pipe seals, acoustic barriers, waterproof membranes, drainage media, flooring screed and wall plaster.

· Transport: traffic management, automotive parts, rubberised asphalt, railway crossing road panels and rubber for incorporation into retreads of earthmover and truck tyres

· Home: carpet underlay, floor tiles and footwear.

· Facilities management: safety flooring, matting, industrial sealers and fillers.

· Sports and recreational: artificial sports tracks and surfaces, sports barriers, golf and bowling greens (drainage improver).

Environment Agency Media enquiries: 020 7863 8710, or outside normal office hours, please contact the National Duty Press Officer on 07798 882 092


WRAP Press Office: Viki Coppin 01295 819695

About the Waste Protocols Project

Consultations for the Quality Protocol for the production of cullet from waste flat glass, waste vegetable oil derived biodiesel and non-packaging waste plastic can be found at: http://qpyr1.dialoguebydesign.net/. Further information on the Waste Protocols Project visit http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk,


1. WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) works in partnership to encourage and enable businesses and consumers to be more efficient in their use of materials and recycle more things more often. This helps to minimise landfill, reduce carbon emissions and improve our environment.

2. Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by Government funding from Defra and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

3. More information on WRAP's work can be found on www.wrap.org.uk.

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