China drafts rules to encourage tire recycling

December 12, 2019 09:41
China has an accumulated more than 300 million used and unrecycled tires, rising by as much as 13 million a year, an industry association said. Photo: Bloomberg

China will establish new specialist firms to re-use and recycle its spent rubber tires as it tries to tackle a mounting waste problem, Reuters reports, citing new draft guidelines released by the industry ministry.

The rules, part of China’s efforts to cut pollution and ensure its resources are “comprehensively utilized”, were published by the industry ministry on Wednesday and have been opened to the public for consultation.

China will aim to scale up the tire recycling business, improve recycling technologies like thermal cracking, and increase tire retreading rates. It will also encourage the recycling of tires into rubber powder, the guidelines said.

China had 340 million cars on its roads by the end of the first half of 2019, according to transport ministry data, and handling spent tires has become a growing challenge.

According to the China Tire Recycling Association, China has an accumulated total of more than 300 million used and unrecycled tires, rising by as much as 13 million a year.

Some initiatives to recycle have been launched, including one to turn spent tires into “rubber asphalt” on roads. Regulators are also considering measures to encourage their use as fuel for cement kilns.

The association said if China can recycle the 13 million tons of waste tires produced every year, an industrial chain worth more than 100 billion yuan (US$14.2 billion) could be created.

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