EMR forms venture to recycle ELV plastics

European Metal Recycling has become the first car recycler to reveal plans to recycle the plastic left in shredder residue.

It has formed a joint venture with US firm MBA Polymers to build a plant able to recycle 60,000 tonnes of plastic-concentrated residue per year into virgin-quality pellets.

The firms hope to build the facility by 2009, but have yet to announce its location.

Under the Directive on end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), authorised treatment facilities were supposed to recover 85% of ELVs by weight by the end of 2006, with at least 80% being recycled. These targets increase to 95% and 85% respectively in 2015.

As metals make up only 75% of the weight of ELVs, recyclers have been looking for ways to treat other materials such as plastics, rubber and foam. Plastics make up around 12% of ELVs by weight.

EMR will install sorting equipment at its eight UK shredders to separate plastics from other materials in the residue. This will produce a material containing 85% plastics. The plant will save 2-3 tonnes CO2e for each tonne of plastic recycled, said EMR.

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