Each year approximately 350,000 tonnes of tyres reach the end of their life in Italy, equal in weight to over 38 million tyres detached from our cars, two-wheeled vehicles, and trucks, up to large industrial and agricultural vehicles.
A European Union directive has prohibited sending ELTs to landfills since 2006, recognizing the quality and value of recycled rubber for compulsory recovery. However, until 2011 Italy did not have a national system that managed their complete collection and recovery, with a close monitoring of the activities and tracking of the flows.
This system became operational on 7 September 2011 (DM 82/2011). Ecopneus works within it with the responsibility to track, collect, and send for recovery an amount of ELTs corresponding to the market share represented by the partner companies, about 70% of the whole national production. This is equivalent to 250,000 tonnes/year as an average.
The entire system is financed by an “eco-fee”, that is, an environmental contribution that every tyre purchaser pays upon buying a new or second-hand imported tyre (its value is proportionate to every different type of tyre, depending on the weight. This must be visible on a separated line in the fiscal document of the sale). It is used exclusively to ensure the correct management of the end-of-life tyre that will be replaced by the new one purchased.
In order to ensure that the environmental targets are met as well as the best level of service at the minimal cost, Ecopneus has adopted an innovative organizational model (network model). Thanks to this model, it has structured and coordinates– throughout the country – a network of qualified companies charged with the collection and transfer of the ELTs to centres specialized in processing and recovery.