What is Global Car Recycling Day and why is it needed?

20th June 2023 marks the first ever Global Car Recycling Day, which advocates for more comprehensive vehicle recycling infrastructure. 

gray and black engine

Establishes by CarTakeBack, an international car recycling specialist, the campaign emphasises that 1.4billion cars are currently on the road globally, but widespread misconceptions mean many drivers are unaware vehicles can form part of the circular economy. 

Major changes to laws around cars and specifically engines are being introduced in developed nations and regions in a bid to help bring down emissions. These include a UK ban on the sale of new internal combustion engines (ICEs) within the next decade, with pressure mounting for those who can to switch to electric vehicles (EVs). This transition is likely to catalyse a rise in scrappage, further driving the need for improvements to car recycling infrastructure. 

Although the process involved in this is complex – and often presents its own environmental hazards, not least when EV lithium-ion batteries are involved – by building awareness about vehicle recycling it is hoped that decision makers in governments and relevant business sectors might be encouraged to invest in this often overlooked system. While the overall international aim should be to reduce the volume of cars on roads, there is also a clear need to expand vehicle recycling provision and boost engagement levels.  

‘Establishing responsible car recycling networks across the globe, after meeting the UK and EU’s tough environmental standards and 95% recycling rates, has revealed the pressing need for this world-wide campaign. While many countries love their cars, and are increasingly environmentally aware, at the end of a vehicle’s life the right choices are not always clear or indeed available,’ said CarTakeBack’s Business Development Manager, Alison Price. ‘Over the last decade, massive investment in industry-leading recycling techniques and facilities have been welcomed in countries where environmental awareness and regulations are high on the governments’ agenda.

‘We’ve also been delighted to see innovation from many leading vehicle manufacturers, who we partner for car recycling, in the pursuit of circular economies. While these organisations make huge steps forward in sustainability, responsible car recycling across the world is vital to this work being truly achieved on a global scale,’ she continued. ‘To avoid environmental harm and to ensure the protection of sustainable car production into the future, it’s essential that car recycling regulations are improved internationally and the whole industry supported. The public can help to drive the necessary progress by demanding an environmentally responsible route for the disposal of their old car. We’re looking forward to raising awareness through Global Car Recycling Day and working with organisations and individuals worldwide to maximise its effect.’

More on vehicle recycling and scrappage: 

London’s air is much cleaner thanks to car scrap scheme

Image: Chad Kirchoff


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