European response to issues in recycling car plastics

Klaus Bellmann, Anshuman Khare

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses the issue of recycling of plastics in the automobile industry which has gained importance due to the proposed European Commission regulation on End-of-Life Vehicles (ELVs) where the EC sets targets on the percent recyclability or reusability of a car by the year 2015. This proposed regulation puts pressure on the car manufacturers to increase the recyclable and/or reusable components of their product. Plastic poses a critical challenge as on one hand it is necessary to meet the customer demands related to esthetics, light weight and the technological advantages, while on the other hand it is a hurdle in achieving a higher percent recyclability of the ELVs. A closer look on this issue from Europe is necessary as it is expected to set the trend in car recycling regulations all over the world. However, there are many related economic issues that have to be kept in mind while thinking of recycling of plastics (or other components) from ELVs. Tough regulations may not have the solution to the environmental question as the issue has ramifications outside the automotive industry and outside Europe. The significance of plastics in the automotive industry, the proposed ELV directive from the EC and the economic effects of the same, along with the future concerns is discussed here. Further, the paper takes a brief look at the environment in the Indian sub-continent which is considered an emerging market and is flooded with car manufacturers from all over the world, and where issues like recycling are still to attract the attention of the government and the local population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-734
Number of pages14
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec. 1999


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