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

Adam Hewitt
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Defra opens consultation on the Waste Prevention Programme for England

Defra opens its consultation on the Waste Prevention Programme, which sets out measures to reduce waste for England through seven sectors, including road vehicles and how they propose to encourage recommerce, including greater use of repaired, remanufactured and reclaimed vehicle components.


Defra opens consultation on the Waste Prevention Programme for England f

According to the document, waste prevention has huge potential: products and materials need not become waste. Products can be designed to support longer product lifetimes and enable reuse, repair and remanufacture.

Concerning vehicles, Defra aims to explore means of increasing reuse, repair, and manufacture, in addition to design considerations such as light-weighting, to reduce waste in this sector and contribute towards Net Zero by 2050.

Regulatory measures have, to date, focused on end-of-life, setting clear targets for recovery and recycling, and these measures have led to an improvement in the treatment of scrap vehicles and dramatically increased recycling and recovery rates.

There is also an active domestic market for second-hand cars and car parts, and vehicles are routinely repaired and maintained. Additionally, many automotive businesses have already taken significant steps to reduce waste.

According to Defra, there is evidence of some positive trends regarding waste prevention in the automotive sector. There are also continuing challenges, especially as the number of vehicles on UK roads continues to increase.

Regarding vehicle manufacturing, designing more durable vehicles and longer-lasting would also reduce the demand for materials and energy for manufacturing.

For recycled car parts, the document states that the eBay for business recycled car parts scheme is helping the UK’s automotive sector substantially reduce its carbon footprint and the UK achieve its overall recycling targets. It aims to raise industry standards and give consumers more sustainable options when garages and insurers complete vehicle repairs.

eBay is working with the Vehicle Recyclers Association (VRA) to lead the development of a certification programme, with the aim of removing any safety and provenance concerns, giving businesses the reassurance they need to use more green parts.

With the ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030, and, from 2035 all new cars and vans must be zero-emission at the tailpipe, when it comes to electric vehicles, Hybrid or other alternatives, Government and industry are working in partnership to maximise the opportunities from the transition to zero-emission vehicles. And the programme sets out steps toward making it easier for consumers to make sustainable purchasing decisions.

What the Government will do

In the Resources and Waste Strategy, Defra outlined several commitments of relevance to the automotive sector, including the development of eco-design standards, product information and labelling schemes, as well as exploring Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for tyres and reforms to the End-of-life Vehicle Regulations. For the automotive sector, the additional actions Defra propose include:

  • To work across Government and with industry and academia to consider eco-design principles for the UK automotive sector
  • To encourage recommerce, including greater use of repaired, remanufactured and reclaimed vehicle components
  • To seek to maximise the resource efficiency of electric vehicle batteries through the Faraday Battery Challenge.
  • To support ongoing work being led by other government departments, capture evidence relating to the social and environmental benefits of car-sharing and ridesharing models

Click here to read Defra’s Waste Prevention Programme for England (see Chapter 9 Road Vehicles (page 46)

To have your say click here. The consultation is open from the 18th March and closes on 10th June.


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Adam Hewitt

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