Recycle week 2020: What does my scrap car become?

23rd September 2020
Lanna Cooper

With climate change continuing to intensify on a global scale, it is more important than ever to prioritise the role of recycling across all industries. The automotive industry is at the forefront of the recycling revolution, leading recycling innovation across the nation and beyond.

With this week marking the 17th annual Recycle Week, an event which celebrates the benefits of recycling, the experts from Scrap Car Comparison delve into the array of products that a scrap car can be transformed into once its many materials are recycled.

Recycle week 2020

Created by WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), Recycle Week takes place annually across the UK, and this year’s theme celebrates the continued efforts of the nation despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Together - We Recycle’.

Several major brands are supporting this year’s event, including Danone, Unilever, Highland Spring, Sainsbury’s and Co-op.

High automotive recycling standards

By law, Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs) adhere to strict regulations when it comes to recycling.

When vehicles are taken to ATFs, they must meet international targets set by the End of Life Vehicles Directive for members of the scrap industry. The specific requirements are that all ATFs ensure at least 95% of a car is recycled. 

Car recycling: What does my scrap car become?

Car recycling is a thriving industry. When a vehicle is scrapped at the end of its life cycle, it marks the start of a new beginning:

  • Leather interiors can be recycled and made into handbags and belts.
  • Catalytic converters produce precious metals, like platinum. These are reused for the pharmaceutical industry and can also be made into wedding rings.  
  • Up to 99% of a lead-acid car battery can be recycled into new car batteries.
  • Glass from windscreens and windows can be recycled into bottles, builder’s sand, ornaments and doorknobs.
  • Vehicle interior plastic can be recycled into polymers for use as carpets, rubbish bins or garden furniture.
  • Galvanised bodywork made from zinc can be recycled into paint, batteries and sun cream.

“Here at Scrap Car Comparison, we’re proud to be a part of the automotive industry who are leading the way in recycling innovation across the world,” said Dan Gick, Founder and Owner of Scrap Car Comparison.

“We are committed to safe and environmentally-focused operations, which is echoed in our work with vetted, trusted and professional scrap and salvage buyers, and this focus has not shifted despite unforeseen COVID-19 challenges.

“When you scrap a car with us, you’re paving the way for a large percentage of its materials to be recycled and reused for other uses, which is vital to our environment, and we couldn’t be prouder of this.”

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