Volkswagen's Australian dealers are committed to the responsible disposal of hundreds of thousands of used tyres annually in an agreement signed with Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA).

The commitment will involve some 100 Volkswagen dealers nationwide, each of which will have used tyres disposed of by a TSA accredited collector or recycler.

Volkswagen Group Australia Managing Director Michael Bartsch said that the brand was the first auto importer to become a Tyre Stewardship Australia contributor.

"Tyres are a by-product of the car sales business and the necessity to have used tyres responsibly disposed of or appropriately recycled is incumbent upon us," Mr Bartsch said.

"Through Tyre Stewardship Australia most of the major tyre brands are financially contributing to ensure that the environmental impact of their business is continually diminished. Volkswagen Australia is proud to be the first auto maker to become a TSA contributor."

Volkswagen Australia joins Goodyear, Bridgestone, Continental, Pirelli, Michelin, Kumho, Toyo and Yokohama as a TSA member.

"Our intention is to wherever possible deal only with tyre manufactures who are TSA co-signatories," Mr Bartsch said.

According to TSA, Australians discard the equivalent of 56 million tyres each year, which equates to some 450,000 tonnes of material, only 10 per cent of which is recycled locally

TSA has to date committed $4 million to projects that recycle end of life tyres as feedstock to create products such as crumb for roads, permeable paving in our cities and soft tracks for equine and athletics stadiums.

TSA has 1600 accredited retailers, recyclers and collectors that are all working together to ensure end of life tyres are managed in an environmentally sound manner.

"One of our key objectives is developing new markets for tyre-derived products," said Lina Goodman, CEO, Tyre Stewardship Australia.

 "TSA has been instrumental in providing necessary funds, resources and expertise towards promoting the use of rubber in a variety of traditional applications including road, rail and new product development. We intend to divert a further 40,000 tonnes of waste tyres to new value-added segments.

"We congratulate Volkswagen Australia for taking this important initiative to drive positive environmental outcomes."

Paul Pottinger,
General Manager Corporate Communications
Tel (02) 9695 6196
Mobile 0434 755 158

Kurt McGuiness,
Public Relations and Brand Experience Manager
Tel (02) 9695 6198
Mobile 0413 135 334

Lina Goodman
CEO Tyre Stewardship Australia
Tel (03) 99777822
Mobile 0491 277 051