A survey conducted by Keep Australia Beautiful in August 2020 has found that although there was overall agreement that the disposal of end-of-life tyres is a worldwide environmental problem, a significant majority did not know what happens after they are left with the retailer to be recycled.
The survey aimed to uncover what Australians thought about the disposal of end-of-life tyres when they could no longer be re-treaded and re-used, and to use the information as a basis for measuring the level of consumer concern for the issue.
Other aspects assessed included public knowledge and understanding of the tyre recycling levy, awareness of recycling processes and opinions on the most sustainable recycling processes.
The survey was distributed to 6,624 recipients, yielding 381 responses – a 5.8% response rate.
Keep Australia Beautiful Chief Executive Officer Val Southam said that as an organisation with a 45-year history based in the community and dedicated to achieving a sustainable and litter-free environment, seeking supporters’ opinion on key environmental questions was an important part of the organisation’s role.
“We identified the management of end-of-life tyres as a major problem and wanted to garner input into the issue from our supporters.
“Australia generates 25 million end-of-life tyres a year. With the problem increasing around the world, very few can envisage what one and a half billion of end-of-life tyres would look like and how they can be recycled,” said Ms Southam.
On the question of the recycling fee charged by retailers, just over half of the respondents believed that their tyres were in fact recycled.
When, however, the respondents were asked in a later question to list the most responsible processing methods, just over 50% nominated the use of crumbed tyres as infill for sporting fields and playgrounds, and 25% nominated being processed back into oil and carbon. Conversely, in the comments section almost one third of respondents nominated use in roads and landfill as an alternative processing method.
“Recycling end-of-life tyres is a major problem. The responses show the confusion that exists in the community on the most suitable methods of processing,” said Ms Southam.
“Overall, the survey comments show a definite desire for Australia to recapture and reuse the basic components of tyres in accordance with the concept of the circular economy,” added Ms Southam.
To view the full survey report please click here.
National Media Comment:
Val Southam, Chief Executive, Keep Australia Beautiful e: firstname.lastname@example.org m: 0419 016 401
Dennis Rutzou Public Relations 0411 510 888
About Keep Australia Beautiful
Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) seeks to lead, influence and inspire all Australians to strive for a sustainable and litter free environment. It does this through research, education, community engagement, and awards