Comment on the challenges in tyre recycling. What can be done to make it sustainable?

According to a recent assessment by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), just 46% of the nation’s tyre pyrolysis oil (TPO) facilities meet current pollution standards. This staggering figure reveals to all of us how small-scale industries function in our nation.

Highlights:

  • TPO facilities use recycled tyres to create gas and oil. In essence, the tyres are thermally destroyed at high temperatures in the reactors without oxygen. The cement, ceramics, and other sectors can utilise the oil or gas as fuel. 
  • In accordance with the NGT ruling, the CPCB requested that all State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) undertake inspections in TPO units across the nation.

Challenges:

  • A National Green Tribunal (NGT) judgement emphasised the lack of effective management of end-of-life or trash tyres. 
  • According to the environmental defence group Social Action for Forest & Environment, polluting TPO units are operating “unchecked throughout India, causing major environmental harm” (SAFE). 
  • In India, where the vehicle industry is expanding quickly, this issue is only going to get worse if there are no rigorous regulations.

Solutions:

  • Extensive producer accountability and improved recycling fees are two ideas that should be developed rather than unlawful tyre processing. 
  • It’s time to develop original ideas for pollution control in small-scale companies. 
  • In these areas, a compliance mechanism should be centred on the needs of the individual in order to close gaps and uphold sound environmental governance.

Way forward:

To decrease the pollution from these industries, a plan is needed. Utilizing cutting-edge technology, installing air pollution control equipment, using cleaner fuels, and using more environmentally friendly manufacturing processes should all be part of it.

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