Experts debate recycling and reuse of end-of-life vehicles at SIAM global seminar

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 11 Feb 2020

The topic of vehicle recycling is gradually gathering momentum, particularly in view of the Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari recently saying that the much-awaited vehicle scrappage policy would soon be announced.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), under the patronage of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Ministry of Steel, on the sidelines of the Auto Expo 2020 organised an international conference on ‘Recycling and Circular Economy in Automotive sector’  to showcase the circularity of materials in the automotive sector and establish a ‘cradle-to- cradle’ model aimed at eliminating waste through recycling and reuse of end-of-life vehicles.

This conference was held in an attempt to highlight the continual utilisation of resources replacing the traditional linear economy, which envisages a ‘Take, Make, Dispose’ model of production, which is in line with the draft National Resource Efficiency Policy 2019, ELV Guidelines and Recycling Guidelines issued by the government of India.

Opening the debate, Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM said, “The circular economy envisages continual utilisation of resources replacing the traditional linear economy, which envisages a ‘Take, Make, Dispose’ model of production. The idea of national policy is to drive the country to a green manufacturing to increase the usage of six hours of sustainability and secondary raw material.”

The deliberations during the day bought out key perspectives on the current scenario of recycling and circular economy in the automotive sector in India and around the world. In addition, industry experts from Japan, Germany and India shared their insights on the government of India’s policy on vehicle and scrap recycling, market potential for circular economy and recycling in India, commercial viability of circular economy, battery recycling and vehicle recycling in India, circular economy in developed economies, technologies for vehicle recycling and adoption of circular economy.

Welcoming the panellist at the inaugural session,  Vikram Kasbekar, Executive Director - Operations (Plants) & Chief Technology Officer, Hero MotoCorp, said, “The automobile industry is the beacon of Indian economy, contributing to 49% of the manufacturing GDP and 15% of GST collection.”

Speaking on the same lines, Sanjay Mehta, President, Material Recycling Association of India said, “With the implementation of this draft policy, the circular economy of India is also all set to generate huge economic, social and employment opportunities.”

Presenting his keynote address, Tom Bird, President, Bureau of International Recycling, said, “It's important that automobile manufacturers communicate the composition of their products to re-cyclists and help them in learning proper techniques for recycling automotive waste.”

Ms Robin Wiener, President, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, said, “There is a constant need for dialogue between auto manufacturers and recyclers to ensure sustainability and circularity of automobiles. In the USA, 12-15 million automobiles reach the end of their life annually, out of which 80% are recycled in proper recycling infrastructures.”

Appreciating SIAM for facilitating such opportunities, guest of honour, Hon’ble Justice Swatanter Kumar, former Chairman, National Green Tribunal, said, “The automobile industry is one of the fastest growing Industries in the world. Hence, there’s a need to look after the recycling factor as well.”

Session chairman Capt N S Mohanram, Chairman, SIAM Recycling and Materials Group and Consultant, TVS Motor Company, while delivering his opening remarks said, “With proper planning and execution, India can have world-class facilities to conserve raw materials, save energy, reduce pollution, create employment and save Forex. Government’s support in easy land availability, cheaper finance, and labour intensive industry are a few key drivers which will define the success of scrapping industry & generate employment in India. With Post Shredder Treatment (PST), Automotive Shredder Residue (ASR) can be reduced by 75-80%. Now is the right time to plan PST for a better future”

Masaru Akaishi, Managing Director, Maruti Suzuki, Toyotsu India, said, “India should utilise the knowledge that Japan had gained through the years of continuous ‘trial and error’ in the automobile dismantling business. We need to set up environment-friendly dismantler, provide timely guidance to ELV owners and secure the proper treatment for hazardous & low value commodities.”

Further sessions deliberated on enabling green manufacturing and CE through material re-designing for ‘cradle to cradle’ concept, and highlighted the best practices and learnings for ELV dismantling and material re-use. Overall, the international conference was a power-packed assimilation of a host of industry leaders from across the world with excellent representation from the government sector.

Also read: Vehicle scrappage policy in its final stages: Nitin Gadkari

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