Germany – ‘Each year, we lose around 8 million end-of-life vehiclesend-of-life vehicles ELVs in Europe; this means 12 million tonnes of scrap and plastics,’ according to Oliver Scholz, ceo of German metals recycling company Scholz Holding. The illegal export of used cars has to be stopped as soon as possible, he urged at an international workshop in Brussels attended by representatives of the EU Commission, the European authorities, the automotive sector and the recycling industry.
The aim of the workshop was to discuss current implementation of the ELV Directive in the 28 EU member states. In several presentations, as well as in subsequent discussions, several common targets emerged. And the urgent need for additional measures to restrict illegal exports was one of the key proposals.
Also addressed at the workshop was implementation of an obligation to register and deregister vehicles, thus leading to greater transparency in the market as well as potentially improved monitoring of used vehicles and the ELV waste streams.
In addition, a need was highlighted for a more detailed definition to distinguish between a ‘used car’ and an ‘ELV’. If a vehicle is classified as waste, it could be reasonable to take into account the actual value besides repair costs in the member state of destination.
A legally-binding definition should be set, and the exporter should have to prove whether the exported car is waste or not. There was also a consensus at the Brussels gathering that recycling costs would increase as a result of the rapidly-changing composition of vehicles, such as through the development of electric models, rare earths in magnets and carbon fibres in plastics.
But there was no agreement during the discussions as to who should pay these rising costs. Options include a financial contribution from the automotive industry or the car owner, as in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia and Japan.
Scholz stated at the workshop: ‘To prevent illegal exports from EU member states, we need legally-binding rules and high penalties for illegal activities. To achieve higher recycling rates, we need further investments; therefore, legal certainty is a prerequisite. If we are successful in combatting illegal export, it will be a win-win-situation for the automotive sector, the scrap dealers and the recyclers.’
For more information, visit: www.scholz-recycling.de/en