Thursday, 5 December 2019

Questions (313)

Bríd Smith

Question:

313. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to reduce the level of waste tyres exported to India; if the Climate Action Plan 2019 or future plans will address the generation and treatment of such waste by-products in the motor industry; if ways of treating such waste here will be examined; if the disposal and environmental damage done by such waste in third party countries such as India can be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51072/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The national compliance scheme to deal with tyres and waste tyres is operated by Repak ELT with a registration and reporting role for the Producer Register Limited (PRL). In accordance with the terms of the scheme’s Ministerial approval, Repak ELT are obliged to work towards minimum targets of 30% recycling by the end of 2018 and each subsequent year of the approval. In 2018 the scheme exceeded the targets by achieving a 97% recycling rate, with 24% recycled in Ireland and Northern Ireland, 73% recycled outside the EU, mainly in India and Vietnam.

The remaining 3% of waste tyres was recovered in India (waste to energy). Repak ELT only funds recovery and recycling through brokers registered with the National TransFrontier Shipment Office in Ireland. The compliance scheme have confirmed that all of the outlets used in India for the recycling of End of Life Tyres (ELT) from Ireland are fully licensed and approved and meet their national environment and pollution standards. In 2018, site visits were conducted to a number of locations in India. These locations were verified as being permitted and licenced to import waste tyres.

The independent review of year 1 of the operation of the scheme was recently published on my Department’s website at https://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/environment/publications/Pages/First-Review-of-Compliance-Scheme-for-Tyres.aspx and circulated to key stakeholders for their information. The review suggests an over reliance on export markets for tyre recycling and recovery and I understand Repak ELT are working to reduce Ireland’s reliance on all external markets and are committed to developing a more sustainable solution for the management of ELT in Ireland, in line with the proximity principle.

The review contains 15 recommendations which my Department is currently considering.