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National Bike Tyre Recycling Scheme Set to Launch Across the UK
A national bicycle tyre and inner tube recycling scheme is set to launch later this year. There will be collection points at bike retailers, workshops, cycle hire schemes, and cycle refurbishment centres and the scheme will be funded by a recycling levy on every tyre or inner tube collected. All of the tyres and inner tubes that are collected will be reused or reprocessed and made into new materials.
Cannock-based firm Velorim are set to run the scheme. Velorim produces rubber-based raw materials from recycled bike tyres and inner tubes.
Why is a bike tyre recycling scheme being introduced now?
The scheme comes as government legislation is set to be introduced which will make the dumping of bike tyres illegal, bringing it into line with the law on dumping motor vehicle tyres.
Work actually began on the creation of a recycling scheme for bike tyres after a 2018 survey carried out by the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT), found that a whopping 44,000 tonnes of bicycle tyres and inner tubes end up in landfill each year. This will only increase as more people get on their bikes to avoid using public transport or to take more exercise outdoors while there are still lockdown restrictions in place.
How else can you recycle your bike tyres and inner tubes?
The recycling scheme was supposed to be introduced sooner, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, its introduction has been delayed. But if you want to recycle your tyres in the meantime, you can take them to a council recycling centre. Be aware though that there will be restrictions in place, so check what you need to do before you go.
If you need to dispose of inner tubes, Cycle of Good is an organisation that collects inner tubes from collection points across England and Wales and sends them off to Malawi, where local people are employed to turn them into products that are then sold on. You can find more about their scheme here.
How else can you be an environmentally friendly cyclist?
- If you’re going on long rides, wrap your snacks in recyclable aluminium foil and take a reusable water bottle with you.
- When you clean or repair your bike, choose eco-friendly products.
- Try to find sustainable cycling clothing. A lot of cycling gear is made from nylon, which is a type of plastic, so try to find sustainable alternatives wherever possible.
- Use a bike wherever you can. Don’t just use your bike for weekend leisure rides, aim to make it your most used form of transportation. Go to work on it, go to the shops on it, the world is your oyster! If you feel that distance or something else prohibits you from using your bike more, consider investing in an electric bike.
Invest in a bike that’s built to last. Good quality bikes can cost thousands of pounds, but you don’t necessarily have to spend a small fortune to get a good bike. The best bike for you and for the environment is one that you will use often and keep using for years to come.