Car dismantlers support EU recycling plan

Association welcomes EU Commission proposal on end-of-life vehicle management

The European Automotive Recycling Association (EGARA) has given the thumbs up to the draft EU end-of-life vehicles directive. At a meeting in Ireland over the weekend, EGARA delegates from 10 countries debated the implications of the proposal for the vehicle dismantling industry and gave it a general seal of approval.

The draft end-of-life vehicles directive aims to reduce the environmental impact of old cars. Proposed last year, it sets quantified targets for reuse, recovery and recycling (ENDS Daily 9 July 1997). Under the European Commission's plan, recovery rates of at least 85% will be required from 2005, rising to 95% in 2015. Minimum recycling rates will be 80% in 2005, rising to 85% in 2015.

Interviewed by ENDS Daily, EGARA secretary Lennart Scharff said that the dismantling industry welcomed the directive as an alternative to voluntary agreements, which were not always effective. He said that the targets for 2005 were "achievable" but warned that the longer-term target might be "tough".

Under the proposed directive, car owners in the EU will receive a certificate when they take their old vehicles to registered dismantlers. Some countries have introduced a bonus for individuals who hand in old cars in an effort to stamp out dumping. EGARA stresses that any measures must be taken to avoid a "heavy economic burden" on the last owner if the car has a negative value at the point of disposal.

Mr Scharff said that there was a need for "shared responsibility" amongst car manufacturers, dismantlers and governments to meet the proposed targets. As the plastic content of cars was increasing, so were costs for dismantlers, he said. The dismantling process became more complicated and the market for recovered products was not guaranteed, he continued. Extra costs incurred due to the directive could not be borne by dismantlers alone, Mr Scharff stressed.

Mr Scharff said that more work needed to be done to define words such as "recycle" and "recovery" in the draft directive. He acknowledged that the directive would have a varied impact depending on the existing legislation in the different member states. EGARA is currently formulating a policy paper on the directive, which it plans to release in the next few weeks.

Follow Up:
EGARA, tel: +45 35 25 05 60.

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