The elv plastics puzzle

European facilities are finding both problems and potential in recycling The shredded plastics from end-of-life vehicles—and that material Stream is likely to evolve.

Researchers have focused intensively over the past 30 years on developing industrial processes to separate plastics from shredded end-of-life vehicles, and such processes have been commercialized over the last decade. The idea seems promising: Plastics use has almost tripled since the mid-1980s, and, until recently, higher oil and chemicals prices had led to increased  values. Recyclers have yet to successfully market large volumes of such plastics, however. Without a regulatory push—be it a tax stimulus or a landfill ban—there still seems to be no strong business case for retrieving polyolefins and styrenics from automobile shredder residue. Simply put, recovering plastics from ELVs is complex and costly.

– by Allard Verburg

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