Tyre recycling program risks becoming a micro-pollution disaster

A shocking one billion waste tyres are generated worldwide each year. Working out what to do with them is one of the biggest waste challenges we face today.

The Australian government is investing in solutions that shreds tyres into ‘rubber crumb’ to build playground surfaces and infill artificial turf. Unfortunately, this is not the solution it seems.

A new study shows rubber crumb playgrounds release an estimated 1.2 million crumbs on average into the immediate environment, while other research suggests tyre chemicals may have toxic health effects on both marine and human life. Experts warn immediate steps are needed to ensure government-endorsed recycling programs don’t solve a problem, while quietly causing another.

Review the ReefClean AUSMAP Rubber Crumb Loss Assessment Report

Review the Rubber Crumb Impact Report

Take Action:

– Email the Australian Government’s Minister for the Environment at stewardship.list@awe.gov.au requesting a review of federal government funding into the Tyre Stewardship Australia’s rubber crumb recycling program until thorough research into human health and environmental harm has been conducted.

– Send a letter to your local Councillor telling them why they should use organic materials like sand for playgrounds and to infill artificial turf in your local area.

– Take a photo showing any degraded rubber crumb park surfaces in your area and post to @Tangaroa Blue on Facebook or Instagram. Also tag #AMDI and #RubberCrumbFail to showcase how this issue is impacting the environment across Australia.

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