The Environmental Pillar welcomes the new Waste Tyre Management Regulations and calls on the Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment to give them their full support.
However, the Pillar has learned that the Joint Oireachteas Committee scrutinising the legislation is being lobbied by the tyre Industry and by some TDs in an attempt to block or water down these valuable environmental regulations.
In a letter sent this morning, the Pillar – an advocacy coalition of 26 national environmental NGOs – has written to the Joint Oireachtas Committee members calling on them to ignore the lobbyists and do the right thing for Ireland and the Environment. 
The Pillar said that it is a disgrace that tax payers, local authorities and community groups have to pick up the tab for the tyre ‘industry’ in clearing illegally dumped tyres.
Hundreds of thousands of used tyres have been illegally dumped around the country, causing health and environmental hazards, rather than being recycled and creating useful employment.
Environment Minister, Denis Naughten recently signed regulations to establish a full compliance scheme for tyre operators that will operate in the same way as the Waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) or Farm Plastics schemes.
The Minister’s action will increase the number of Irish tyres that are properly recycled and create the basis for an Irish-based tyre recycling facility leading to the creation of around 400 jobs and a reduction in tyre dumping and littering.
The Environmental Pillar welcomes this move and calls for even stronger regulations.
Mindy O’Brien, of VOICE, speaking on behalf of the Environmental Pillar said:
“Dumped waste tyres are a major litter and environmental problem in Ireland.
“They do not break down naturally so when a tyre is dumped, it remains in the environment for thousands of years. In addition there are very serious health risks associated with burning of tyres, which give off highly toxic fumes and are nearly impossible to extinguish.
“Environmentalists have been campaigning for regulation of the used tyre industry for years and we welcome the move by Minister Naughten. However we are very worried that the regulations will be blocked or watered down by lobbyists for the tyre industry.
ENDS Letter to Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment: https://goo.gl/adGVXm