[GRRN] EU Auto Recycling Regs - FYI

RecycleWorlds (anderson@msn.fullfeed.com)
Thu, 17 Jun 1999 10:50:04 -0500

"EU Car Recycling Law in Doubt as Industry Stalls"
BELGIUM: June 17, 1999
BRUSSELS - Car manufacturers launched a last-ditch
effort to persuade European Union governments to
rethink a planned law on car recycling, putting
agreement on the proposals next week in doubt, EU
officials said yesterday.
"We are lobbying against this legislation at the very
level," Thierry Proteau, spokesman for the European
Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), told
"Manufacturers would be saddled with huge costs and the
consequences could be gigantic. We're in favour of
the environmental impact of old cars, but this proposal
totally unrealistic," he said.
Environment ministers from the 15 EU countries are
supposed next week to give initial backing to
which would force carmakers to recycle or reuse 80
of car weight from 2005, rising to 85 percent in 2015.
The law would also guarantee consumers free take-back of
so-called "end-of-life vehicles".
Ministers already postponed a vote at their last meeting
March, after Germany, the current holder of the EU's
rotating presidency, asked for a delay. But they pledged
go ahead at their session on June 24 and 25.
The hold-up came after Ferdinand Piech, chairman of both
Volkswagen AG and ACEA, wrote to German Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder, a former VW supervisory board
There is now some confusion about whether ministers will
honour their pledge to approve the draft law, which
allow the newly-elected European Parliament to give it a
second reading later this year.
EU officials said German Environment Minister Juergen
Trittin on Tuesday wrote to his 14 EU colleagues and
Environment Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard saying he had
no intention of calling for a further postponement, but
added, "I have heard that other member states may
consider" such a delay.
Bjerregaard, the architect of the plans, fears Germany
be looking to other countries to lead the campaign for a
rethink, one EU official said.
The governments of the other major carmaking nations -
France, Italy, Britain and Spain - are also facing
lobbying from manufacturers, and expressed some
sympathy with the German position in March.
"We need to stick firmly to the draft agreement and
adopt a
common position without changes," said Bjerregaard's
spokesman Peter Jorgensen.
Besides setting recycling targets and guaranteeing free
take-back, the draft law includes measures to reduce the
use of lead, mercury, cadmium and other hazardous heavy
metals in car manufacturing.
ACEA says that guaranteeing free take-back of scrap cars
would cost car companies around 370 German marks
($195) for each of the 150 million cars on the EU's
It also says it is unfair to expect carmakers to cover
costs of all scrap cars from 2003, as most would have
designed before the rules were drawn up.
($1=1.897 German Mark).
Story by Michael Mann

Peter Anderson
RecycleWorlds Consulting
4513 Vernon Blvd. Ste. 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Phone:(608) 231-1100/Fax: (608) 233-0011