A design for green scrap

Every year five million cars are scrapped in the UK: 75% of the materials are recycled and the Government is backing moves to increase the recycling, recovery, and re-use upto 95% by the year 2015.

Last year the major industries involved in car manufacture and dismantling in the UK signed a voluntary agreement to improve recycling. And now the government has launched a consultation exercise on changes to the way vehicles are designed, manufactured and scrapped.

Competition and Consumer Minister Nigel Griffiths MP said: ‘Manufacturers have moved a long way to promote recycling. Already some 97% of metal in cars is recovered and reused. Recycling of other materials is small but growing. Some is used to make new parts such as the engine exhaust manifold made from waste plastic. But more needs to be done to recover precious resources and avoid landfill dumping.’

Among the measures which are being proposed in a draft EC Directive are: a restriction on certain materials such as mercury and cadmium from being included in vehicles by 2003; targets for reuse and recovery of car parts and materials; a compulsory Certificate of Destruction to curb abandoned cars and ensure that the new rules are being followed; the end of exemptions from Waste Management Licensing for vehicle dismantlers.

Griffiths said: ‘The Government wants to hear from all interested organisations so that we can fully examine the impact of these proposals.’