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

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EuRIC position on the revision of the ELV Directive

EuRIC position on the revision of the ELV DirectiveEuRIC, the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation shares their comments on the revision of Directive 2000/53/EC (ELV Directive).

Issues for the recycling sector

Every year, end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) generate between 7 and 8 million tonnes of waste in the European Union which should be treated in an environmentally sound manner. The ELV Directive, its ambitious targets of 95% recovery coupled with the requirements laid down to ensure proper ELV recycling, has profoundly shaped the ELV recycling industry which has made very significant investments throughout the recycling process (from depollution to the recovery of complex materials) to achieve it.

The most significant issue for the whole ELV recycling industry is around 4 million vehicles of unknown whereabouts per year in Europe, compared to 6 to 7 million ELVs treated in compliance with the ELV Directive1. This deprives authorised treatment facilities (ATFs) and ELV recycling facilities (shredders and post-shredder installations) from ELVs which should be treated in an environmentally friendly way in accordance with the ELV Directive and results in net economic losses for compliant treatment and recycling operators, given the uneven playing field in which compliant facilities operate.

EuRIC via its European Shredder Group (ESG) represents ATFs and the vast majority of ELV recycling facilities (shredders and post-shredder installations) which recycle ELVs in Europe. EuRIC fully supports the goals of the ELV Directive and calls for measures aiming at strengthening its enforcement, linking the ELV Directive with the objectives of the Plastics Strategy and adapting it to the challenges posed by new types of cars progressively entering the market. Among the various challenges these cars pose at recycling stage are the difficulty to meet the existing recovery targets of 85% and 95% given the increase of composite materials which are currently very difficult when not impossible to recycle under technically and economically viable conditions.

EuRIC strongly supports the inclusion of binding recycled content for plastics in cars to pull the demand for technical plastics and incidentally boost eco-design and correct the failure of the markets to reward plastics’ recycling huge environmental benefits.


Key requests by the recycling industry

The revision of the ELV Directive is the right opportunity to implement urgently needed measures to solve practical challenges linked to the Directive. EuRIC therefore proposes the following measures:

  1. Well-framed financial incentives for the last holder to deliver a vehicle to authorised treatment facilities in exchange of a CoD.
  2. Improve registration and de-registrations systems
  3. “Clear & easy way to implement” distinction between used cars and ELVs
  4. Improvement in the information exchange about the fate of temporary de- registered vehicles
  5. Emphasise the important role of insurers in case of total loss
  6. Tackling illegal online sales of valuable spare parts from ELVs cars which have been declared total losses, scavenged cars etc.
  7. Minimum target of post-consumer recycled content of plastics in new cars to foster the demand for recycled plastics from ELVs

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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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e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

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