Shifting from a linear to a circular business model and how the tyre industry can drive change


The release of the Government– CEP 2020; the Circular Economy Package (CEP) published 30th July 2020 has largely flown under the radar, yet reinforces key objectives as to the UK’s management of its resources and waste, including end of life tyres.

The CEP ‘… introduces further steps to move the UK to a more circular economy, in line with commitments in the Resources and Waste Strategy…’. With a clear aim of optimising the use of our resources, the policy states that we should look for ..’added value in products so that they remain in the system for as long as possible – so reducing waste.’

“End of life tyres offer the potential for the transfer of the tyre industry in the UK from a semi- circular economy into one where all tyres are recycled and repurposed within the long term time scales of the current Government objectives,” said Alex Matthias, Commercial Manager, IRR Waste 2 Energy. “The UK’s tyre recycling network offers a robust solution but falls short of being able to recycle all tyres and this is why other opportunities, such as pyrolysis, need to be explored and explored with a degree of urgency.”

Aligning with other strategies such as The 25 Year Environmental Plan the CEP is to look at ..’novel ways of turning waste into a resource…’ Pyrolysis is still very new to the UK and to the tyre industry and yet it offers the potential for the tyre industry and others to discover the added value in the products so that a circular business model can be embraced.

“Moving away from a linear, throw-away society is the responsibility of us all and many businesses including the tyre industry are seeking new ways to protect our environment, minimise waste and adopt closed manufacturing processes,” said Alex. “In recent months we have been working incredibly closely with tyre manufacturers and recyclers to highlight what they can do to do and explaining why the next few years are critical to ensuring all processes are in place to ensure compliance with legislation.

“We have demonstrated that waste tyres have proven to be a valuable commodity to a circular economy model and we believe the tyre industry is well placed to drive more wide spread change and become a blue print for other industries in the UK as to how they shift from a linear to a circular business model.”

IRR Waste 2 Energy is the only UK company to offer pyrolysis systems for end of life tyres. The low thermal process enables waste tyres to be processed and by-products of carbon char, gas and oil generated. The process is entirely circular and supports the overarching vision of the UK Government.

“The carbon char which is generated through pyrolysis can then be used in manufacturing processes such as automotive components, rubber and plastics and tyres whilst the gas and oil can generate energy for power, heating and cooling,” said Alex. “As the shift continues from a linear to a circular economy, and tangible targets have been set for 2040, we ask is pyrolysis one of the most under-rated, and under-utilised methods of disposing of end of life tyres?”

IRR Waste 2 Energy is working with the tyre industry, recyclers and manufacturers to explore best practice and pyrolysis benefits encouraging them to make the change and make a difference.

Further information about its pyrolysis plants and the positive impact they can have on your business, and sustainable business operations can be found by visiting