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

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COVID-19 Update: BIR calls on governments to recognise recycling industries as essential activities

BIR urge governments to formally recognise that the recycling industries are classified as essential activities and are enabled to continue to operate during this time of the coronavirus.


BIR recycling industries

The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) is the global federation of recycling industries and represents directly or indirectly over 30.000 recyclers in more than 70 countries around the world, including 36 National Associations. BIR Member Companies collect, sort and process recyclables such as ferrous and non-ferrous metals including stainless steel/alloys, paper, textiles, plastics, e-scrap and rubber/tyres. The regular supply of recyclables is essential to recycling industries in order for them to maintain a steady stream of supplies of secondary raw materials to downstream manufacturing industries, many of them considered as essential businesses themselves.

In this period of the COVID-19 pandemic, recycling companies around the world – represented by BIR, the global recycling federation – are committed to contributing to the health of the population and to the environment, as well as providing raw materials for industries that provide the means to combat COVID-19.

The BIR recognise and fully support the need to shut down certain businesses in order to stop the spreading of COVID-19. However, the federation urge governments to formally recognise that recycling operations, which are collecting, sorting and recycling wastes from households and industrial sources, are essential businesses as they serve to protect human health and the environment. Furthermore, recycling operations are providing secondary raw materials, critical to downstream industries, some of them directly involved in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recyclers provide the raw materials for critical manufacturing operations that are producing rebar, wiring, tubing, packaging and other key materials needed for everything from the construction of new hospitals to the manufacture of hospital beds, ventilators, toilet paper and other essential supplies in the current crisis, including packaging material for the shipping of these goods.

In light of their vital contributions in the current situation, it is important that the recycling industries are classified as essential activities and are enabled to continue to operate and that governments provide the necessary conditions and flexibility in this respect.


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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. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

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