60,000 collection requests of End-of-Life Tyres were met at the over 21,000 tyre dealers served all over Italy. A widespread collection was constant throughout the whole year – even during the lockdown – and despite a 20% reduction in tyre sales compared to 2019.

Ecopneus is the non-profit company that is the main operator dealing with ELT management in Italy. The ELT (End-of-Life Tyres) collection and recycling system managed by Ecopneus closed 2020 positively. Despite the criticalities faced in the course of the year due to the health emergency we are still unfortunately going through and its subsequent sharp drop in tyre replacement interventions, the system created by Ecopneus coped well and never interrupted its constant activities of ELT collection for the operators all over Italy – not even during the lockdown.

Indeed, Ecopneus collected 189,569 tonnes of End-of-Life Tyres during 2020. Compared with the collection targets set by the law and calculated on the amounts of tyres placed on the market by the partner companies during the previous solar year, the collection reached 96%. This is an important result, especially considering a drop in tyre sales of about -20% in 2020 and the subsequent reduction of the financial resources deriving from the eco fees that finance the system. This should have implied a similar reduction in ELT collection due to the lack of the necessary financial resources and for the lower volumes of ELTs physically present at the spare tyre operators’.

The Ecopneus system has, instead, kept the usual performance standards. This was due to the efficient management of its financial resources and the use of the surplus of 2019. On the other hand, this objective was reached by reducing the ELT amounts present at the operators’ and mainly deriving from irregular tyre flows that enter our Country without fiscal documentation.

Besides, last year’s residual amounts had already been collected as of 15th January 2021.

Giovanni Corbetta, General Manager of Ecopneus declared:2021 started with even greater promptness than the one we closed 2020 with. This promptness has allowed us to achieve satisfying results despite the critical context the Country is going through. We have put in place an important managerial effort to assure the constant collection of End-of-Life Tyres even during the lockdown in all Italian provinces – from the mountains to the smaller islands. Moreover, we have paid greater attention also to the small tyre replacement centres that generate modest quantities of ELTs, where the collection is more expensive with reference to both costs and logistics. Over 70% of our collection interventions is, indeed, carried out at small or medium-sized businesses, where less than 300 pieces are collected at a time”.

Despite the drop in sales and their related eco fees in 2019, during the first months of the emergency and its subsequent lockdown, the number of collection interventions carried out by Ecopneus at tyre dealers’ remained within the average of the previous years. All this, in spite of the fact that ELT collection requests sensibly went down compared to the same period of 2019. In the first 4 months of the year the collection was, indeed, in line with the one of the previous years.

Moreover, towards the end of 2020, a provision of the General Management for the Circular Economy of the Ministry of the Environment obliged all authorised companies – such as Ecopneus – to collect an extra amount of ELTs equal to 15% of the official target starting from 1st January 2021. This obligation was made to intervene on the long-standing issue of the “extra amounts” of End-of-Life Tyres that remained uncollected with reference to the collection targets of the responsible bodies. This is a phenomenon that affects the collection mechanism and causes excessive storage of ELTs at tyre dealers’.

Thanks to this provision, the current situation of overload of many collection points will progressively improve and get solved in the incoming months. However, the priority of developing a tracing and control system is still of uttermost importance, from the moment that this system would allow to fight the irregular sales of tyres on the national market.