22 March 2021
Tyre Stewardship Australia has released its inaugural Modern Slavery Impact Statement which highlights the sector’s critical role in addressing modern slavery across the end-of-life-tyres (EOLT) value chain.
Australia generates the equivalent of 56 million EOLT produced annually. With a significant proportion of these being exported overseas for processing, TSA CEO Lina Goodman says verifying environmentally sustainable and ethical management of exported EOLT is central to the integrity of the Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme and global efforts to create a safe and responsible industry.
“Modern slavery risks exist at all stages of the tyre lifecycle – in Australia and overseas,” Ms Goodman says.
“This Statement sets out TSA’s current and future commitments to working with our partners in mitigating against issues around modern slavery – and other human rights issues.
“TSA has no regulatory obligation to have this statement – but we believe we have a moral one.”
The Statement identifies two areas for action that build on existing Scheme guidelines and seek to reduce modern slavery risks in the sector:
“Collectors and recyclers are known to use casual labour on short-term arrangements. TSA recognises this can pose a risk in terms of ensuring workers receive their full entitlements, and create vulnerabilities to labour exploitation, including modern slavery,” Ms Goodman explains.
“This means unscrupulous operators can get a competitive advantage in the market – collecting tyres cheaply at the expense of legitimate operators committed to sustainable management of EOLT.”
To ensure Australian workers receive their full entitlements and are protected by key workplace laws and standards, TSA-accredited collectors and recyclers must complete an annual Employee Entitlements Declaration.
As a tangible demonstration of taking its global footprint seriously, TSA has also developed a world-first platform for foreign operators to stamp out unscrupulous recyclers and collectors who may cause environmental or social harm – including the risk of modern slavery.
“TSA recognises there is a risk of exploited labour being used in the foreign plants and factories that use and process Australian EOLT,” continues Ms Goodman.
“Our Foreign End Market (FEM) Verification Program significantly increases waste tyre supply chain visibility in local and international markets.
“Our online verification platform ensures the accountability of exporting processors and educates operators across the supply chain. It should be the source of truth for all reputable recyclers of EOLT.
“Being accountable and seeking transparency along the entire tyre supply chain is a critical step in being a good corporate citizen.”
Whilst TSA is taking action to drive impact on modern slavery through the Scheme, Ms Goodman recognised more could be done, with future plans including:
Read TSA’s Modern Slavery Impact Statement here.
Tyre Stewardship Australia’s mission is to increase demand for tyre-derived products (TDP) and help address the challenge presented by the equivalent of 56 million tyres that reach end-of-life in Australia every year.
The National Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme, implemented by TSA, helps to reduce the environmental, health and safety impacts of the 56 million tyres that reach the end of their life in Australia every year.
The voluntary scheme consists of representatives from across the tyre supply chain including retailers, manufacturers, auto-brands, recyclers and collectors.
In the five years since the Scheme’s inception, TSA has committed more than $6 million nationally to fund real-world outcomes for TDP.
For further information please contact Marissa Johnston, TSA Business Manager
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