24 February 1997 00:00 [Source: ICB]
PVC producers Elf Atochem, Solvay and Résinoplast have joined a new French consortium to recover PVC from end-of-life cars. The Autovinyle scheme aims to handle 80% of PVC car parts by 2002.
Car manufacturers Peugeot/Citroën and Renault, and component makers ECIA, Griffine Industries, Plastic Omnium/J Reydel, Sofedit/CTAA and Trèves are also members.
The project is part of a voluntary agreement on scrap cars, set up in France in 1993. Landfilled car waste must be reduced to 15% by 2002, compared with 25% today, and 5% by 2015.
The Autovinyle scheme will be handling 5000 tonne/year of PVC 'within four or five years', Alain Jean of Elf Atochem told ECN.
There is about 10kg of PVC in the average car and 20% of the removed material will be mechanically recycled, mainly from interior fittings, while 80% will be used in feedstock recycling or incineration with energy recovery.
Jean said the proportion of mechanical recycling was expected to rise as cars which were easier to recycle began to come into the system.
PVC parts will be stripped out at 46 existing collection points around France. The scheme will also handle scrap PVC arising from the production of cars, such as in dashboard and interior trim manufacture.
The scheme is unsubsidised and faces the usual difficulties for recycling schemes competing with low virgin materials prices.
'We have to operate in the free market,' Jean said. 'The golden rule is to be cheaper than the virgin material.'
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