India is a recycling society with many people making value out of the recovery of waste materials discarded from products at the end of their useful life. However, Europe and some other export markets have recognised that they have become a 'throwaway' society in recent decades, and are now introducing waste prevention regimes in different industry sectors to collect and recycle valuable resource rather than it ending up in landfill.
For the Automotive sector, regulators point responsibility for this issue to vehicle producers and operators in the scrap car recovery industry. In Europe the scrap car issue is driven by the End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) Directive which sets dismantler standards to safely drain and recycle fluids as part of vehicle disposal; and sets targets to recover metal and non-metallic material such that a maximum of 5% of the vehicle weight becomes waste to landfill. Similar regulations have been introduced in Japan and Korea, and the Indian Government is also developing a similar regime in anticipation of many more old cars being scrapped in future.
Tata Motors has taken these responsibilities seriously and already meets EU product design requirements such as: compliance to ELV heavy metals and other hazardous substance restrictions; and material code marking of plastic and rubber parts to aid economic recycling towards targets.
A major issue for India is the lack of a specialised scrap car collection, treatment, dismantling and recovery infrastructure. Europe has had a century to develop their scrap car industry network but in the year 2000 still required the ELV Directive to make operator standards provide environmentally sound treatment, recycling and disposal of cars. Tata Motors is participating in Government consultations to ensure the Indian scrap car infrastructure is developed to meet sensible environmental standards from the outset.
Tata Motors European provisions for ELV treatment:
Central to the European regulation is for manufacturers to contract free take-back networks for environmentally sound treatment of ELVs. Last owner contacts for access to Tata Motors subscribed take-back schemes in Europe can be found here: