According to ETRA (European Tyre Recycling Association) data, approximately 3.250.000 tonnes of tyres are removed from cars and trucks in the European Union of 27 Member States and are classified as waste.
There has been a significant improvement in the recycling of the tyres in the European Union in recent years. Nowadays less than 18% go to landfills, while about 35% are recycled and another 35% are used for energy production. In Greece there has been a collective management system since 2004 and nationwide since 2006 under the name ECOELASTIKA.
Besides rubber, car tyres also contain quantities of metal such as steel and iron, up to 15% of the weight of the tyre, which can be recovered or reused. The tyres for vehicles in Greece are imported from abroad. 71,8 % of imported tyres are passenger car tyres, 25% are tyres for trucks and the remaining 3,2 % are motorcycle tyres.
In Greece, the recycling of tyres is based on producer responsibility. All the tyre importers as well as the car importers (from the moment that the cars they import have tyres on them) are obliged, based on national law, to participate in the system. Second-hand car importers are required to participate in the system as well.
The collection of used tyres is carried out directly from the collection points which are the vulcanizing shops, car workshops as well as the car dismantlers and car workshops that have been contracted with the corresponding system of alternative management of end-of-life vehicles (EDOE).
Every collection point, as long as it gathers at least 60 car tyres and/or 10 truck tyres and/or 45 motorcycle tyres, is required to immediately call the compatible collector, who is responsible for gathering the tyres within three days.