Automotive plastics’ recyclers have developed during the last decades state-of-art post-treatment technologies to efficiently separate and then recycle plastics from end-of-life vehicles (ELV); recycled plastics that once compounded again in new vehicles, meet similar performance standards as those compounds from virgin polymers.
In its substantiated call for recycled content of plastics in new cars, Euric outlines the state of play of plastics in the automotive sector and highlights the need for an increase content of recycled plastics thanks to targets to be set in the ELV Directive currently under revision. Such targets will directly support the ambitious goal set by the Plastic Strategy of reaching 10 million tons recycled plastics used to make products in the EU by 2025 and, above all, the overarching objectives of the Green Deal to be further cemented in the forthcoming Circular Economy Action Plan to boost circularity and combat global warming.
For Paul Mayhew, President of EuRIC’s Plastic Recycling Branch (EPRB) and General Manager at MBA Polymers, the binding post-consumer recycled content targets for thermoplastics in cars of 25% by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 35% by 2035 are entirely realistic. They reflect what frontrunners in the automotive industry already do in some of their flagships models or are planning to do thanks to mature technologies for high quality plastics recycling from ELVs developed by the industry over the last two decades. What is missing in order to make current best practices the norm, is binding targets which provide the certainty needed by recyclers to scale up existing facilities and invest into new ones.
Last but not least, such targets would benefit from targeted eco-design measures in the form of best practices to ensure that additives or mixtures in plastic parts can easily be separated at recycling stage through a constructive dialogue with the car industry. A dialogue that EuRIC is looking forward to intensify.