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European car sector ‘working hard’ for recycling success

A car driving full circle by Alex Chinneck

Germany – ‘The automotive industry is showing great commitment to making its contribution to sustainable practices at an early stage in the development and manufacturing process,’ declared Dr Tobias Bahr at the annual International Automobile Recycling Congress in the German capital Berlin. Manufacturers are ‘working hard’ to meet the EU’s 85% recyclability and 95% recoverability targets, he insisted.

The automotive industry is also on board with the EU’s new Circular Economy package – to the extent that it has already ’embedded’ the circular concept in the majority of its activities across the continent, according to Bahr who is environmental policy director at the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

‘Strong international competition automatically leads to resources being used in the most efficient way,’ Bahr commented during the congress press conference. He spoke in favour of an ‘integrated approach’ that covers the entire lifecycle of a vehicle while stressing that end-of-life cars only account for around 1% of environmental impact.

EU car recycling legislation still has its ‘shortcomings’, he continued. A major step forward, he added, would be the creation of an EU-wide system obliging owners to deregister, together with an obligation to provide proof of the proper disposal of end-of-life vehicles with the corresponding monitoring.

Surely, the EU Circular Economy package would help increase the durability, repairability and recyclability of cars, stated European Commission policy officer for the circular economy and waste management Artemis Hatzi-Hull. She also expects it will have a ‘positive impact’ on employment in the recycling sector, especially in shredder and post-shredder operations.

Building on this momentum, Hatzi-Hull believes new high-tech recycling plants will be established in the near future, equipped with the latest sorting technologies to boost the recovery of e-scrap.

A full report of the IARC conference will be featured in our upcoming April issue.

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