Global carmakers are increasing efforts to improve the sustainability of their vehicles by incorporating recycled materials to meet environmental regulations and consumer demands.
Car manufacturers have recognised the importance of improving the sustainability of their vehicles, both in terms of meeting environmental regulations and the demands of increasingly eco-conscious consumers. To this end, many are increasing use of recycled materials in their cars.
Japanese manufacturer Nissan collects damaged and discarded bumpers, which it pulverises and strips using a chemical-free process. These materials are used for repairs and to make new bumpers. Aluminium wheels from end-of-life vehicles are also reused in high-quality suspension parts.
Nissan has also successfully developed a technology to make fine fibres from recycled plastic. Used plastic bottles are recycled and used as the main component in sound insulation layers in Nissan’s dashboard and floor insulators.
Eleven of the vehicles produced by Ford feature soy and bio-based seat cushions and seat backs. Furthermore, it uses post-consumer recycled resins collected from detergent bottles, tyres and battery casings to make underbody systems.
Under its ‘green materials’ plan, French manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroën intends to increase the use of biopolymers, natural fibres – such as flax and hemp – and recycled materials garnered from shredded plastic bottles.
PSA Peugeot Citroën:
Related information on the ETAP website:
‘Making car recycling more environmentally friendly’:
End-of-life vehicles generate approximately 9 million tonnes of waste a year in the EU. The Directive on end-of-life vehicles (ELV) – adopted in 2000 – sets clear targets for the reuse, recycling and recovery of vehicles and their components.
In November 2009, the Commission published a report charting the implementation of the Directive from 2005 to 2008. 22 Member States participated in the report. These states adopted measures to encourage manufacturers to:
- Limit the use of hazardous substances;
- Facilitate dismantling, reuse and recovery; and
- Integrate more recycled materials into their vehicles.
In 2006, 19 Member States met the Directives reuse/recycling target of 80%, while 13 met the reuse/recovery target of 85%.
Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles:
Commission report on the implementation of ELV Directive 2000/53/EC for 2005 to 2008:
Sustainable investment rating agency Oekom evaluated the world’s 15 largest car manufacturers according to environmental and social criteria. The agency awarded grades to carmakers on a scale from A+ for the highest to D- for the lowest. Overall Renault (B), BMW (B) and PSA Peugeot Citroën (B-) received the highest rankings.
‘Sustainability: Automotive industry changes to second gear’ (company press release):