Used and Refurbished Tires Still Finding Their Way Through Latin America

Paulo Rebêlo, as guest blogger
Greentech Media (link)

The Supreme Court in Brazil is once again struggling to decide the import of used tires from other countries, especially from the United States and the European Union.

And once again, the process is temporarily halted in order to be “properly” analyzed by the Court members. Some of them have already voted. A new final decision is expected to come out soon.

This is a decade-long issue with no proper results to date.

Although Brazil’s Constitution expressly prohibits the import of used and refurbished tires since 1991, many companies are allowed to import them thanks to preliminaries decisions from the Justice due to breaches in the law.

For decades, environmentalists and NGO’s condemn the usage of used tires due to its heavy aggression to the environment. A great sum of these tires is exposed nationwide without proper care.

In general, developed countries export these tires for a negligible amount of money. It’s always good business to get rid of the trash — especially if you have someone who actually pays for it and makes huge loads of money out of it. Same happens for the high-tech trash being expelled to Latin America these days. (We’ll discuss this later on.)

But make no mistake; there are no good and bad guys.

This is an unsolved case due to the high profits around a market that, only within Brazil’s range, is responsible for about 40,000 direct jobs from at least 1,600 companies involved.

When money talks, it’s no surprise that environment gets only a secondary look in the decision making process. Especially when public policies towards environment have always been poorly managed. Thought of the Amazon? Bingo. Thought of water-generated energy? Bingo.