Tyrewise ushers in a new era for product stewardship in Aotearoa
It may have gone under the radar for some, but regulated product stewardship has finally arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The regulations to manage end-of-life tyres in New Zealand through the Tyrewise scheme will be in effect from 1 March 2024, with an operational start date of 1 September 2024.
For us at 3R Group, this is a huge moment, as enabling the circular economy through product stewardship is core to our business. We’ve worked alongside the whole industry supply chain on this project to for over a decade to reach this goal of being the first scheme to meet the high bar set by government for accreditation.
It’s immensely gratifying to know that through this work, the problem of end-of-life tyres will now be addressed.
Under the regulation, all new tyres, loose, or on a vehicle, will be covered by Tyrewise so they’re collected, transported, and processed at the end of their life.
New Zealanders buying new tyres need only choose and pay for their new tyres – which will have the cost of stewardship built in – and let Tyrewise take care of the rest. Current ad hoc disposal or ‘environmental’ fees will be replaced by a standardised, nationwide tyre stewardship fee.
The only tyres currently excluded are bicycle tyres or those on non-motorised vehicles, but they will come in through the second scope of the scheme in the near future.
The scheme means the end of tyre piles and the health hazards they pose for people and planet, while ensuring end-of-life tyres go on to become a valuable resource managing our waste in our own country.
The work that’s been done to get Tyrewise to this point shows what can be achieved when the whole supply chain works together to improve environmental outcomes for an entire sector, and we look forward to sharing how Tyrewise improves these outcomes when it becomes operational.
When we began working with the tyre industry back in 2012, the majority was eager for a national scheme, with the proviso that it be regulated by government. This ensures a level playing field and no free riders (those whose products are stewarded despite not contributing financially to a scheme).
It wasn’t until 2020 that government declared tyres, along with five other product categories, ‘priority products’ under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008. Work could then start in earnest to get Tyrewise off the ground.
Our work isn’t done yet though, as we continue as Tyrewise Implementation Project Managers. Engaging with the industry around registrations, roles and making sure everyone understands what regulated stewardship for tyres means for them, will be a major focus.
To everyone who has worked with us to get this far, a big thank you. To those who are just joining the Tyrewise journey, kia ora. We look forward to working alongside you.