Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling


UK achieves 94.1%, missing ELV targets

UK achieves 94.1% missing ELV targetsEurostat recently released data showing ELV – reuse, recycling and recovery totals for 2017 – the figures take approximately two years to gather. 

The UK reached a rate of 94.1% in 2017, whereas in 2016 there was a difference of 1.9% at 92.2%. But the latest figure still does not come up to the ELV reuse and recovery target of 95% set by the EU.

With reference to reuse and recovery tonnage, the UK far exceeded other EU member states in 2017 with a total of 1,478,124 tonnes up from 1,149,109 the previous year, an increase of over 300,000 tonnes. The UK recycled 1,333,496 tonnes in 2017, a difference of 284,478 tonnes when compared to the 1,049,018 tonnes recycled the previous year. 

See the table below showing data available for all 28 EU member states:UK achieves 94.1% missing ELV targetsHoward Bluck, technical director of the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) said of the 2017’s statistics:

“I believe my comments made in January regarding the failure to meet the 2016 target remains valid for 2017. A further future challenge for the sector will be the shift from conventionally fuelled to hybrid electric to fully electric vehicles.”

He added: “Through our membership of the ferrous recovery and recycling branch of EuRIC, we are preparing to respond to the recently launched consultation reviewing the ELV Directive. We will propose ELV collection rates to help combat the illegal trade in ELV.

We will also use the opportunity to call for a revised definition of an ELV; strengthening the CoD system (with the last owner remaining responsible for a vehicle until a CoD is issued i.e. to compel them to use only properly approved treatment facilities); improved registration and de-registration system to reduce ‘leakage’ in the system and; legal certainty on the relationship between waste and chemicals legislation, especially as it relates to legacy chemicals/additives.”

A spokesperson from DEFRA said: 

“It is encouraging to see the recycling rate rising, with almost 120,000 tonnes more material reused, recycled and recovered than the previous year and more vehicles handled than ever before.”

“Our landmark Resources and Waste Strategy sets out how we will go further and faster, to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and help leave the environment in a better state than we found it for future generations. This includes ELVs, where we set out our intention to review the current regulatory approach in 2021.”

To find further information on Eurostats’ ELV statistics, visit

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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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