New Delhi, February 11, 2019 : According to the Australian Tyre Recyclers Association (ATRA), old tyres are a danger around the world and more so in India, where there is uncontrolled use of end-of-life tyres for pyrolysis, an environmental hazard that is banned in developed countries, as this process emits life threatening gases.
Pyrolysis is a process where the material is put through a thermochemical treatment under high temperature to produce industrial oil and other matters.
ATRA Executive Officer Robert Kelman said, "India has a huge demand for used tyres for the purpose of pyrolysis. These tyres are imported in the form of bales rather than shred. A large chunk of such import comes from Australia."
In addition, the emission controls required to meet environmental regulations again make the practice prohibitive. ATRA has banned the practice of used tyre pyrolysis for all its members because of its harmful effects and little commercial rationale.
According to Gaurav Sekhri, Director, Tinna Group - an Indian tyre recycler, waste tyre collection is completely unorganised and is in the hands of unskilled workforce. More than 1.5 billion waste tyres are generated every year globally and 6 per cent of all waste tyres are generated in India.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests has a well-defined Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for operation of such plants. However, only a very small percentage of these plants are partially compliant with the SOP. "The government should shut down all illegally operating pyrolysis plants that are not compliant with the SOP," Sekhri said.
Sekhri further noted that stricter norms for granting permission for import of waste tyres are required.
Permission should be given only to a company having mechanical recycling equipment for processing of waste tyres in an environment friendly manner.