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ACCC seeks new Tyre Stewardship authorisation views

Watchdog minded to extend scheme but wants submissions on draft decision


With recycling one of the problems of the moment due to China’s global waste import ban, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is proposing to grant authorisation for Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) to continue its revised Tyre Stewardship Scheme for a further six years.

The scheme aims to increase both the recycling of tyres, including truck tyres, and the use of products made from the recycled material in Australia.

“The ACCC has decided to grant interim authorisation to allow TSA to continue to run the scheme while the ACCC finalises its assessment of the revised scheme,” the commission says.

“The ACCC is seeking submissions from interested parties on its draft determination before making a final decision.”

The commission notes that, since 2013, when the ACCC first authorised the scheme, TSA has collected a levy from participating tyre importers and directed $2 million of funds from it into market research for the development of new products.

“We believe the scheme is likely to result in a public benefit by reducing the number of tyres disposed of in landfill, illegally dumped, or exported overseas to be burned unsustainably for fuel,” ACCC commissioner Roger Featherston says.

“Used tyres can be reprocessed in Australia to create useful products such as soft-fall playground mats, industrial flooring, and brake pads.”

TSA is currently developing more rigorous accreditation and monitoring of industry participants, and a verification process to track the destination of tyres exported overseas.

“We’re satisfied the voluntary scheme is unlikely to result in any significant public detriment because the industry levy, at 25 cents per tyre, represents a very small portion of the total retail price of tyres,” Featherston says.

“We also note that participants of the scheme are not prohibited from dealing with non-accredited businesses in certain circumstances.

“Although there were some delays in getting the scheme started, we can see it is now gathering momentum.

“We recognise TSA’s efforts to address concerns about aspects of the scheme and we expect it to continue working with stakeholders in the tyre supply chain and government to make further improvements, including expanding its membership.”

The commissioner goes on to underline some of the possible ramifications of an assessment process.

“ACCC authorisation means we consider the public benefits of the scheme outweigh the public detriments. It doesn’t represent an official endorsement or a view that this scheme, or indeed any voluntary scheme, is necessarily the best way to address these issues,” Featherston says.

“If results haven’t improved significantly in six years, including participation by mining companies and vehicle importers, governments may need to consider implementing effective regulation.”

Further information about this application for authorisation is available at Tyre Stewardship Australia Limited.


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