The “Ecopneus Effect” Report by the Symbola Foundation: a +64.8% increase in the occupation of the companies of the chain; increase of efficiency and quality of the recycled materials, progressive autonomy of companies on the market.


Presentazione rapporto Effetto EcopneusIn Italy, the End-of-Life tyre recycling business managed by Ecopneus creates wealth and occupation, allows important environmental savings for companies, reduces emissions, the use of raw materials, and water consumption. Moreover, it favours the investments of the companies of the green economy chain. An articulated productive system, made of small-medium manufacturing companies distributed all over the Italian territory. These companies recover End-of-Life tyres. With this material, it is possible to produce sports surfaces, “silent”, long-lasting modified asphalts, soundproofing materials, urban furniture, and energy. The Symbola Foundation for the Italian Qualities has chosen to describe this system of excellence in its latest publication, the “Ecopneus Effect”.

Download the “Ecopneus Effect” report

According to Ermete Realacci, President of Symbola: “describing Ecopneus and describing the environmental, financial, and managerial efficiency it was able to introduce into the End-of-Life tyre chain means to talk about the productive companies that have contributed to transforming Italy into a superpower of the circular economy. Indeed, Italy is the European country with the highest percentage (76.9%) of recycling on the overall amount of waste. Moreover, Italy is among the leading European countries for the circular economy index with an 18.5% of use of second raw materials. This replacement of material implies a saving that amounts to 21 million tonnes equivalent of petroleum and 58 million tonnes of CO2. Part of these results are due to the action of consortiums, among which there is Ecopneus”.

Giovanni Corbetta, General Manager of Ecopneus stated: “We have been able to give stability and common objectives to the companies of our system. The guarantee of the flows of materials to be treated, the certainty of payments, and the strong attention to quality management in the companies (both with reference to products and processes) have allowed companies to be able to plan medium-long term investments and implement processes to improve the quality of work, and offer materials that are more and more meeting the market requests”.

Also for this reason, a 64.8% occupational growth was recorded among the 67 companies of the Ecopneus chain between 2011 and 2016, with about 900 employees fully dedicated to End-of-Life Tyres. This piece of information is even more important if we look at the geographical position of the same companies: over one third of them are located in the South of the Country (37.3%); 22.4% of the them is concentrated in the North-West; 17.9% in the North-East, and 22.4% in the Centre of the country. These companies have been able to invest in new technologies, in new machinery, and in the quality of the end product. Their positive effects have been demonstrated also by the efficiency indicator developed by Symbola: from 3.8 kg of ELTs treated for every Euro they received from the Ecopneus system in 2012, we reached 4.8 kg in 2017.

Watch the accounts of the companies of the chain about the Ecopneus Effect


This efficiency is transformed into greater quality of the recycled rubber leaving the plants (the production of the G1 granule of better quality went up from 28% on the total of production in 2011 to 43.5% in 2017). Thus, it offers greater commercial opportunities on the market, with 64.5% of companies that have accounted for an increase of sales of ELTs since 2011 when the Ecopneus management started.

On the horizon, however, the sector still sees some uncertainties, mainly linked to the development of the GPP (Green Public Procurement), and the publication of the legislation about End of Waste – the definitive classification of rubber granules and powders as fully-fledged materials. The Ecopneus chain of End-of-Life tyres has the tools, the skills and the vision to be able to seize all its opportunities.


ECOPNEUS guarantees the recovery of about 210,000 tonnes of End-of-Life tyres in Italy every year. These are transformed into recycled rubber for football pitches and sports surfaces, soundproofing and anti-vibrating materials for the building sector, silent and safe rubberised asphalts, elements of urban furniture, and energy. This chain has grown in time, in efficiency and quality, consolidating the assets of every single company and looking to the future with investments and development.

SYMBOLA is the Foundation that promotes and aggregates the Italian Qualities. With researches, events, and projects, we talk about companies and institutions betting on innovation and development, beauty and creativity, human capital and territory. Green economy, culture, and social cohesion are three main indicators for us: those who choose these drivers, they increase their own economic and social value doing good to the Country, giving life to a model of “economy of Quality” linked to the territory and to identity, but with a strong vocation to creativity and innovation: the soft economy.