EU member states have agreed to incorporate United Nations regulations into EU law, so that recycled tyres fulfil similar standards of safety and quality control than new ones.

Millions of tyres could be recycled and put back on European roads every year after the EU Council of ministers agreed on new recycling standards on Tuesday (4 April).

The standard involves the so-called retreading process, which uses less raw materials and less energy, and therefore produces less tyre waste. In order to promote this practice and to improve safety guarantees for final users, the Council has adopted a Decision that aligns EU standards for retreaded tyres with the requirements of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). So far, UNECE Regulations were only considered alternatives to those included in EU directives.

On top of environmental benefits, safety enhancement and legal certainty, this Decision has the advantage to prevent the EU from developing its own legislation in the field, which may have been resented by European tyre manufacturers in search for global market shares.