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

Adam Hewitt

VRA sets agenda for 2018 & Beyond

VRAAdrian Pierce, Business Development Director at AutoDrain and committee member of VRA, talks us through the purpose of the rebrand from the Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association (MVDA) to the Vehicle Recyclers’ Association (VRA).

For those of us of a certain age, some things really do seem to have been better all those years ago. I for one still can’t believe that Wagon Wheels are so small now, Terry Wogan is no longer with us and a pint is now the cost of a night out “when I was a lad”!

I was sent into another fit of nostalgia the other day when, despite my efforts to shed the weight I put on when I finally gave up the cigs a year ago, I treated myself to a Marathon. The thing is it wasn’t a Marathon bar, it was a Snickers.

In reality, it’s been a Snickers for 27 years! How time flies…

No doubt someone was convinced that Snickers would sell more chocolate bars than Marathon and perhaps it has done, but the product remained fundamentally the same.

2018 has seen a rebranding much closer to home for anyone concerned about the direction that our industry is taking and keen to have their voice heard as it moves forward. The Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association has rebranded and is now the Vehicle Recyclers’ Association (VRA).

This change to the title of an organisation that has existed for 74 years might be seen as just a rebrand; same old chocolate bar, different wrapper. In fact, it reflects a determination on the part of those who run the association to work even harder in 2018 to add weight to its voice with regulators and policymakers. This is all with the hope that we can maximise efforts to level the playing field and deal with the real issues impacting our businesses.

The name change is significant because by depolluting ELVs effectively and removing any impact of their work on the environment, licensed operators are not just dismantlers, they are recyclers. This being so it is logical that the focus of the Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association has had to change over the last 73 years until it must, by nature, be regarded as an Association of Recyclers and be named as such.

The content is still the same; there is a Code of Practice to which all members must comply, and only legally operating legitimate businesses can be represented. The VRA promotes and presents the interests of all its members to Government and is active in supporting the full legalisation of our industry.

Dr Chas Ambrose, Secretary of the VRA, said, in a recent Press Statement: “This is an exciting, but challenging time for our industry. Professional Vehicle Recyclers face ever-increasing environmental regulation and costs, whilst their businesses are continually under threat from illegally run non-permitted operations. The VRA will provide a respectable cogent voice for our members, liaising with Government and Regulators to address this inequity”.

I was lucky enough to spend some time with my new colleagues on the Committee at a gathering in the run-up to Christmas (and that seems a while ago now!!). I was struck by the good humour and warmth of the discussion. When talk turned to our industry, though, the depth of experience around the table, and the determination to drive through change was immediately apparent.

The VRA has, for many years, doing what it now says on the tin, but 2018 sees new Committee members, a new focus on welcoming more businesses into the Association and even greater efforts to offer a co-ordinated and coherent voice to all Professional Recyclers. If you want to see illegal operators face more realistic consequences, then membership of the VRA will bring your business into the debate.

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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.