"As the Lead Force for fraud we will continue to do everything in our power to support and assist our colleagues to halt this damaging illegal trade."
The Environment Agency is working with the waste recovery and recycling industry to improve compliance with regulations and stop tyres ‘leaking' from the legitimate system.
Forty-nine million used tyres are produced every year in the United Kingdom. Around 25% are suitable for reuse as second-hand tyres, while another 6% are used to make retread tyres. Another 25% are burned for energy by certain industries under strict environmental control and tyres have a similar calorific value to coal. Of the remainder, 34% are recycled into products as diverse drainage systems, sound barriers, sporting surfaces and consumer applications (e.g. underlay, footwear, rubber tiles and pencil cases); while 10% are used to engineer landfill lining.