EuRIC, FER and SIGNUS are calling on the EU to reconsider the value of recycled rubber due to its social, economic and environmental benefits.
The European Recycling Industries’ Federation (EuRIC), the Spanish Federation of Recovery and Recycling (FER) and Producer Responsibility Organisation for End-of-Life Tyres, SIGNUS, warn of the significant consequences of the European Commission’s proposal to ban the use of end-of-life tyre materials (crumb rubber from tyres) in artificial grass pitches as part of its measures to eradicate the intentional dispersal of microplastics, without taking into account other, equally efficient measures with lower environmental impacts.
Around 150 million tyres are processed for recycling in Europe every year, which is one tyre for every three EU citizens. The rubber from recycled tyres has a wide range of practical uses, such as providing essential materials for artificial grass football pitches, children’s playgrounds and road construction.
Director General of SIGNUS, Gabriel Leal, points out that “this problem is not being approached from the perspective of sustainability, which includes not only environmental aspects, but also economic and social ones”. Moreover, he wanted to make it clear that “the ban on the use of this material will not solve the problem, since the release of microplastics from the filament of the artificial turf itself will be greater, as has been demonstrated by the results of a study to monitor this issue carried out on a pitch in Ribeira (A Coruña)”.
“Under the current proposal, over 10,000,0000 tyres destined for this application in Spain may pile up or are at risk of being exported outside the EU for incineration where environmental standards are less stringent. A one-size-fits-all approach is not the smart climate policy that we expect from the EU,” says Emmanuel Katrakis, Secretary General of EuRIC.