Study criticises ELV directive "inflexibility"

Stakeholder-supported life-cycle assessment shows complex relationship between recycling, lightweighting

The EU end-of-life vehicles (ELV) directive's "inflexibility" and "narrow focus" on recycling targets hinder attempts to optimise cars' life-cycle environmental impacts, according to a European Commission-funded study. Mandatory actions to support recycling cannot be supported if they obstruct efforts to make vehicles lighter, the study concludes.

The Lirecar study was carried out by automotive industry stakeholders and has been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. One of the European car industry's original objections to the ELV directive's recycling targets was that they would encourage greater use of metals rather than plastics. This in turn would impede moves to reduce vehicle weight and cut fuel consumption (EED 25/07/97).

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