SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will establish new specialist firms to re-use and recycle its spent rubber tires as it tries to tackle a mounting waste problem, the industry ministry said in new draft guidelines.
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 tyres has become a growing challenge.
According to the China Tyre 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 tyres 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 tonnes of waste tires produced every year, an industrial chain worth more than 100 billion yuan ($14.2 billion) could be created.
($1 = 7.0389 yuan)
Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Stephen Coates