Safety should of course not be compromised just to reduce the problem of waste tyres, but studies have shown that retreads can be just as safe as new tyres and the retread industry even claims they are of a higher quality than the budget tyres from Asia and
Russia. The main problem then is to convince the public of this fact. One way to do this is the introduction of clearly communicated safety standards for retreaded tyres that should be very similar to standards for new tyres. The UNECE standards adopted by the EU, referred to earlier, are a good example but because it will not be mandatory for countries to adopt these standards, a lot of the benefits of having one uniform standard might be lost. It is therefore required that as many (future) member states as possible adopt the standards. It should not however be expected to be a panacea for retreaded tyres. In the US where standards for retreaded passenger car tyres do exist, their use still falls short of potential. Other stimulants like public procurement are necessary.
Even though the TDF and crumb rubber industries are certainly not in their infancies anymore and have proven their market viability, it cannot be said that they have fully matured yet. TDF has not taken the place among other fuels it deserves on the basis of its characteristics. Though this can partly be explained by the fact that there are reliability issues in the supply of TDF compared to conventional fuels, there are also institutional factors that limit its growth. Another example is the extensive testing phase British cement kilns have to undergo before they are authorised to use TDF. With clear airemission standards for tyre using facilities it ought to be much easier to check if the requirements are met and then issue the permits. Of course there should be proper air emissions for TDF, but this should not needlessly hinder its adoption. While air emission standards should clearly be a government issue, other standards for TDF relating to the wire content, size etc. can be developed by the industry itself.
Indeed, this has already happened in the US, where the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has developed such standards. Where such standards do not yet exist governments could stimulate their development or adoption of existing foreign standards. Governments might also have a role to play in harmonising different existing standards. Both the ASTM and the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) have already developed standards for crumb rubber, so the problems relating to uncertainty about quality and other matters should be substantially reduced in the near future. Again, in countries where these standards do not yet exist governments could promote their adoption.
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