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TEPA calls stakeholders to responsibility on World Environment Day

On 5 June, businesses, governments and people around the world celebrated World Environment Day, which focuses on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience under the slogan “Our land. Our future….

On 5 June, businesses, governments and people around the world celebrated World Environment Day, which focuses on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience under the slogan “Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.”

Vishal Premlall, National Director of the Tyre, Equipment, Parts Association (TEPA), says it is important for every individual to ask: “What can we do to help protect the environment?” He says there are many challenges facing automotive consumers and businesses within the tyre, equipment and parts space, including the correct disposal of tyres, oil and batteries and other potentially harmful products. TEPA is working closely with all its members, particularly its tyre-trading members, to ensure that they are registered for waste tyre collections at the Waste Tyre Bureau. “This will help expedite more waste tyre collections and contribute to effective and responsible recycling practices,” says Premlall.

When it comes to the environment, recycled waste tyre collection is critical. In South Africa, the Waste Tyre Bureau of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, is the custodian of waste tyre collection.

Instead of dumping tyres on to landfill sites, they are recycled in many interesting, innovative and creative ways but if not managed correctly, they can have a dire impact on the environment.
Recycling is obviously key to the environment and to a more sustainable future. The Minister of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment recently put out a Section 29 plan for comment from the industry. “The plan will help to better manage waste tyres in South Africa, facilitate waste tyre processing capacity and help to reduce the negative environmental impacts of waste tyres,” he says.

The environmental and health consequences of not disposing of tyres correctly are significant, ranging from fire hazards to toxins leaking into our ground soil and water from the non- biodegradable composition of tyres and to disease.


The reality is that despite Government’s best efforts, there are still millions of waste tyres stockpiled and many more lying in back yards and on informal dumping sites. The product will take thousands of years to break down and unfortunately we are already finding unacceptable volumes of plastic in our water that ends up in our food system. Premlall says the consequential cost of this is significant, not to mention the health hazard.


All responsible and ethical tyre traders need to ensure that they are correctly registered and that their waste is being collected by the department.


Consumers can also play their part in ensuring waste tyres are being disposed of responsibly by handing them over to a registered tyre dealer. Premlall says if consumers are unsure about the health of their tyres or when to dispose of them, they can call into a registered TEPA tyre business and speak to one of the trained specialists. He says, equally, in the event one notices illegal stockpiles these can be reported via the TEPA whistleblower hotline and TEPA will contact the department to deal with the stockpile.


“On the back of a looming environmental disaster, we urge the public not to exacerbate the situation by contributing to the stockpile of unwanted tyres. If you have made the decision to replace your tyres, don’t further compound the problem of waste tyres, rather leave the waste tyres at your TEPA dealer so that they can be disposed of correctly as the law prescribes.

“We all have a responsibility to protect the environment, let’s play our role,” concludes Premlall.

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