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[greenyes] European industry wants to burn plastics

(from Recycling Today e-news)

German Plastics, Auto Industries Oppose ELV Directive
By <mailto:>
The car manufacturers and plastics industries in Germany have united to
denounce the "rigid" recycling targets in the European End of Life
Vehicle Directive.

Germany's automobile federation - the VDA - and its plastics-producers'
industry federation - the VKE - have said the Directive unnecessarily
restricts the ways in which plastics from old cars are used.

The two organizations cited a study from the Fraunhofer Institute in
support of their argument that the most ecological and economic way to
deal with plastics from ELVs is a flexible use of materials recycling,
chemical feedstock recycling and energy-from-waste recovery.

By restricting these recovery methods and forcing manufacturers to make
vehicles suitable for the recycling requirements of the Directive, the
two associations warned that the Directive was effectively reducing the
environmental benefits elsewhere in the vehicles' lifecycles.

The statement from the VDA and VKE said that the Directive was reducing
manufacturers' ability to use certain plastics to make vehicles lighter
in weight, and that this meant a decrease in the vehicles' fuel economy
- essentially leading to more emissions over the life-time of the

The federations said: "In the opinion of VDA and VKE the rigid ratio
defaults of the European end of life vehicle regulation obstruct
ecologically meaningful measures for fuel economy and therefore carbon
dioxide reduction, for example in the use of certain materials in
lightweight construction."

Fixed "recycling ratios" therefore make no environmental sense, the
German industries said, particularly as studies proved that the use of
passenger cars plays a "much larger role" in environmental effects than
the disposal of a car. The organizations said there was little
environmental difference in recycling non-metallic vehicle components
than there was in recovering energy from them. And, they said that
energy recovery could often be more efficient.

The Fraunhofer Institute study disproved the "widespread view" that the
material recycling process is more ecologically favorable than energy
recovery in ELV plastics, the organizations added.

Eric Lombardi
Executive Director
Eco-Cycle, Inc
Boulder, CO

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