Israel produces two million waste tyres each year and, according to Environment Ministry data, doesn’t yet have any recycling plants.
Manufacturers take note: the bill stipulates that tyre importers would not be able to release products from customs without authorisation from the Ministry of the Environment that the said importer complied with the recycling targets or paid the fine for non-compliance.
While there are currently no tyre recycling plants in Israel, it is expected that approval of the law would promote market initiatives in this area so that landfilling of used tyres can be phased out.
The legislation is reportedly motivated by public health concerns. In August 2002, a new species of mosquito, previously unknown in Israel, was found in a tyre lot at Moshav Ginaton. The new mosquito was identified as the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), a species that lays its eggs in water-containing receptacle such as tyres. “The spread of this mosquito from eastern Asia to other parts of the world is attributed to commerce in used tyres,” an Israeli environment ministry website stated.
In 2003, M.K. Nudelman proposed a private member’s bill on tyre recycling. The proposed law is based on the principle of extended producer responsibility. Accordingly, the bill determines that producers and importers of tyres will be responsible for collecting used tyres and transferring them to recycling. Under the law landfills would still be allowed.