255,000 tonnes of tyres collected and recovered in 2014, equivalent in weight to 28 million passenger car tyres, 13% more than the objective set by law. This is the balance of the activity of Ecopneus, the non-profit company that is among the leading managers of end-of-life tyres (ELT) in Italy. In 2014 Ecopneus sent off 36% of the tyres collected for material recovery to produce rubber granules and powder as well as steel. Ecopneus is focusing on this sector with an investment in knowledge, research and innovation that has already reached 14 million euros in order to promote the applications of rubber recycled from ELTs in sports flooring, street furniture, play areas for children, sound insulation for construction and low-noise asphalts. The remaining 64% is destined for the recovery of energy for the production of cement and electricity.
These are some of the data contained in the Green Economy Report 2014, realized in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Foundation. Thanks to the activity of Ecopneus, in the emission into the atmosphere of 344,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent was avoided in Italy last year, an amount equal to the emissions of 75,000 cars that travel 30,000 km in a year. 377,000 tonnes of mineral and fossil resources that would have been necessary to produce the goods that the recycling is replacing were saved, and the consumption of 1.8 million m3 of water was avoided, equal to five times the average daily flow of the Tiber river.
In addition to creating advantages for the environment, the Ecopneus system has created a significant value in economic terms: in 2014 alone, Ecopneus – as a non-profit company – redistributed 66.7 million euros of the resources collected through environmental contributions to the recovery chain (a network of 103 companies and 700 full-time employees) to support the ELT collection, storage and processing activities. Ecopneus therefore guarantees stability to an entire chain and contributes to reducing the need for virgin raw material imported into Italy for a value of 105 million euros.
“Ecopneus,” commented Giovanni Corbetta, its Director General, “is making a huge effort to support the development of a circular economy to make end-of-life tyres a useful resource in new markets and applications. Working in an ethical and transparent manner toward the legal objectives, the goal is to make this an industry that creates jobs, knowledge and sustainable products that contribute to the sustainability of this country”.
The balance will be presented by Giovanni Corbetta, the Director of Ecopneus and Edo Ronchi, the President of the Sustainable Development Foundation on June 23 at a meeting at the Senate. Senator Giuseppe Marinello, the President of the Senate’s Environment Commission, the Honourable Chiara Braga, the Head of the Environment for the Democratic Party (PD) and Barbara Degani, the Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Environment will be present, among others.