Creating a circular economy is key to protect the environment and to make of sustainability a tool for development and for new qualified occupation, thanks to research and innovation.
Ecopneus has always known that the real objective is the following: on top of End-of-Life Tyre (ELT) management, it is strongly committed to promoting the uses of recycled rubber, the market of applications, the qualification of the companies of the chain, basing its work activities on ethics and legality.
The use of rubber recycled from End-of-Life Tyres in replacement of virgin rubber in certain cases allows performances which are even better than virgin raw materials from a chemical and mechanical point of view. Compared to virgin rubber, moreover, recycled rubber from ELTs allows savings up to 10 times the cost of virgin rubber. Also, recycled rubber is present in large quantities and its use does not contribute to the consumption of precious virgin raw materials that can only be imported.
For these reasons, it is fundamental to increase the number of ELTs sent to material recycling as much as possible. This is the only solution that can fully exploit the precious characteristics of the material, in a logic of circular economy.
The ELT recovery of Ecopneus allows important environmental and financial benefits. Only in 2017 thanks to Ecopneus circular economy processes:
- the release into the atmosphere of 365 thousand tonnes of CO2eq was avoided
- 354 thousand tonnes of materials were saved
- 1.7 million m3 of water was not consumed.
In addition to this, thanks to the use of materials derived from the recycling of ELTs, Italy saved 142 million Euros in raw material importation. These concrete benefits are also possible thanks to the work of a qualified chain, composed of about 100 companies located all over the national territory, which employ over 700 people.
There are two main directions we must follow for our work of today and of tomorrow:
- The first is of legislative-normative nature: it is the consolidation and the growth of the markets for granules and powders from ELTs in the already known sectors of sport, roads, building and in new sectors that will be opened with research and partnerships with third parties. This shall be done thanks to the awarding of the status of material (and not of waste as it was in the past) for ELTs. This first aspect would also simplify an extended and convinced application of the Green Public Procurement.
- The second way is, instead, linked to the need of contrasting the irregular flows of tyres, both with interventions of legislative nature and with greater controls, so that all ELTs may go back to the legal circuit and be collected and recycled. Achieving these two objectives would allow Italy to eliminate the phenomenon of dumping and the progressive reduction of energy recovery in favour of material recovery.