The UK’s National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) Conference for 2018 recently took place at the beginning of October in Milton Keynes which was opened by Chief Executive Stefan Hay and National Chairman Prashant Chopra.
Key Speakers Deal with Tyre Safety and Recycling Issues
Chopra stated that holding the annual forum has become even more important than ever before taking into account the current uncertainty of the UK’s business climate. He pointed out that with the outcome of Brexit still uncertain there has been a marked increase in applications for NTDA membership. Hay also announced future plans for the NTDA to work even more closely with the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) in the imminent future which will result in jointly establishing a working group to access the synergies between tyre distribution, collection and recovery.
From a tyre recycling point of view, there were three main speakers during the day-long conference – Stuart Jackson, Chairman of Tyresafe, Peter Taylor, Secretary General of the TRA and Gary Walker, from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
With October being ‘Tyre Safety Month’, Jackson delivered a hard-hitting presentation on Tyresafe’s most recent survey into tyre safety which states that 989 motorists were either killed or seriously injured due to accidents caused by tyre related problems. He also revealed the usual damaging attack on the dangers of part worn tyres including the fact that it is now considered that as many as 97 per cent of part worn tyres in the UK are sold illegally.
At the same time, Tyresafe recently carried out a tread depth survey on over 340,000 tyres at the point of replacement with over 800 tyre outlets participating. The findings revealed that 27.3 per cent of tyres were illegal and 70.4 per cent of tyres had a tread depth of 2mm or below. One final fact to put into the ‘melting pot’ was that tyres continue to be considered as the most contributory factor in UK road accidents followed by brakes and mobile phone use.
Whilst Taylor provided a detailed update on the work of the TRA including its ongoing dialogue with the Environment Agency concerning specific Fire Prevention activities and pointed out that the TRA continues to argue strongly for a dedicated waste-stream approach to the formation of a template to assist TRA members to gain approval for fire prevention facilities at sites. He also reported on the TRA’s Responsible Recycler Scheme and confirmed that the intention to improve the image of used tyre management to the public, Government and the tyre industry has been very successful so far.
Finally, Walker explained the function of SEPA and its progressive and evolving partnership with the tyre industry. As a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government, the agency aims to regulate and advise on a wide range of environmental activities.
He pointed out that around 100 tyres are turned into waste every 15 minutes in Scotland and the pressure to find and harness suitable environmental solutions has never been greater. SEPA is currently one year in to a five year ‘Global Tyre Challenge’ to find new business sustainable opportunities for waste tyres and are also looking to introduce a specific sector plan giving set targets and actions to directly tackle waste tyre criminal behaviour.