End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV)
End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) is an extremely complex subject with many aspects which are influencing each other while this is not obvious. Therefore, it needs a fair bit of experience to understand and see all implications of possible actions taken.
The EU Directive on End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV-Directive) came into force in the year 2000 and addressed a subject which the auto industry had quite successfully ignored since its beginnings in the early 20th century. Scrap yards, who we call Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATF) today, did the job in a world of their own since the very beginning of the automotive industry.
Growing environmental consciousness changed that, together with a growing problem of abandoned vehicles in the early 1990s. The ELV-Directive was published as a consequence, and set various obligations on – mainly – manufacturers (extended producer responsibility), but also various other actors (e.g. ATFs/Shredders, Authorities, insurance industry, etc.).
Main focus in manufacturer’s obligations are material requirements (Heavy Metal Ban), dismantling information, take-back network, etc.
Sustainability is a natural step forward. While the ELV subject mainly focusses on the environmentally friendly disposal of vehicles, with only a rather small focus on the development stage (removing hazardous materials from the car), a sustainable approach will reach farther.
Plastics recycling is one aspect of ELV. On the one hand, plastics coming from the vehicle need to be recycled – which in itself is a complex enough task. On the other hand, recycled plastic of different kinds and other origin can go back into the vehicle. Quality of the recyclates is one aspect, reliable volumes another.
Plastics recycling is an important aspect of ELV. On the one hand, plastics coming from the vehicle need to be recycled – which in itself is a complex enough task. On the other hand, recycled plastic of different kinds and other origin can go back into the vehicle. Quality of the recyclates is one aspect, reliable volumes another.
Once the material is recycled, it needs to find new markets. And potential customers need to understand and accept pricing, sustainability gains and all the other advantages.
For both subjects, it needs people well connected to both, the auto industry but also the recycling world ➔ you have just found one of those few.
China might not look like a natural addition in the context of recycling, be it vehicles or plastics.
But, China today is an important part of the world’s economy. As a customer, a supplier and a country setting legal frameworks with influence on many other countries in the world.
I do have a fair bit of experience with China, starting with my University time and also during my ELV-life.
There is indeed a connection between China, ELV and recycling – and my experience encompasses and combines all three areas.