The Estonian Tyre Association is a non-profit organisation and the oldest manufacturer’s liability watchdog in the country. We organise the collection and recycling of old tyres. Our members are Estonia’s largest producers and importers of tyres. It is in the best interests of all of these companies that tyres, as problem products, be reused as effectively and in an as environmentally-friendly a way as possible, as is required by the state’s Waste Act and scrap regulations.
The Waste Act applies the principle of manufacturer's liability to problem products, which means that the manufacturer is obliged to ensure the collection and recycling or removal of the waste produced by products it has manufactured, sold or imported.
Manufacturer’s liability applies to those companies – producers, importers and wholesale and retail sellers – who are obliged to take responsibility for the substances contained in their products, the components of the products and the products as a whole from the moment of their production to the point at which they become waste.
In the case of tyres, European Union member states are guided by this principle of manufacturer’s liability, according to which importers and producers must finance a system of used tyre collection and recycling. Tyres have been included in the list of problem products in Estonia since the state’s scrap regulations were updated in July 2005, and manufacturer’s liability thus also applies to them.
In reality, implementing this principle has generally meant that producers or importers add a recycling fee to the price of a new tyre, with the money collected in this way forwarded to the manufacturer’s liability organisation. This organisation then arranges for the collection and recycling of the tyres, outsourcing services from the waste management sector.
Tyre recycling has been obligatory since 1 January 2006.