The Hankook Tire & Technology Group, a tyre manufacturer, is partnering with Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) to commit to responsibly disposing of end-of-life tyres, via the National Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme.
The decision to sign up to the Scheme derived from recognising the work of TSA and its achievements, Hankook managing director Ted Choi said.
“By cultivating win-win relationships like this one with Tyre Stewardship Australia, Hankook shows it too is a leader in preserving and protecting the environment for the next generation – a responsibility we take seriously,” Choi said.
“Hankook Tire & Technology makes constant efforts for economic, social and environmental sustainability of the natural rubber value chain. Through partnerships like this one with TSA, we are dedicated to mitigating our environmental impact not only in product manufacturing but also across the entire lifecycle from product development to use and disposal.”
TSA congratulated Hankook on its decision.
“In joining TSA as a financial contributor, Hankook joins our other importers in showing leadership towards sustainable practices for used tyres,” TSA chief executive Lina Goodman said.
“We congratulate Hankook for taking this important initiative to drive positive environmental outcomes.”
Hankook joins Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear Dunlop, Kumho, Michelin, Pirelli, Toyo and Yokohama as tyre importers contributing to finding alternate solutions for Australia’s end-of-life tyres.
Car manufacturers Volkswagen, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz are also contributing to TSA.
Australia generates the equivalent of 56 million end-of-life passenger tyres annually. Whilst 72 per cent is re-used, reprocessed or upcycled, 28 per cent of the volume is still disposed to landfill, buried or stockpiled.
“TSA’s mission is to deliver against circular economy principles, ensuring the lifecycle of tyres is maximised, the residual waste product is valuable, and the entire supply chain works cohesively to contribute to better sustainable outcomes,” Goodman said.
“Since the voluntary Scheme’s inception in 2013, we now have more than 1,700 participants from across the tyre supply chain including retailers, manufacturers, auto-brands, recyclers and collectors.
“Through our globally admired Market Development initiatives, TSA has committed more than $6 million nationally to find innovative and entrepreneurial ways to manage the used tyres generated in Australia for greater productive outcomes,” she said.
“Our Foreign End Market (FEM) verification program is the only global platform aimed at verifying that Australian-generated end-of-life-tyres are not causing environmental or social harm at their final destination.
“But while there is an incredible amount of goodwill, as importers like Hankook are proving, there are also still too many ‘free riders’ – those organisations currently selling tyres into the Australian market, but not taking responsibility for them,” Goodman said.
“These companies have been enjoying all the benefits of what TSA has to offer without contributing to the solution.”