LIFE CIRC-ELV Project: channelling plastic from end-of-life vehicles back into the manufacturing chain

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The LIFE CIRC-ELV project has developed a new process for managing end-of-life vehicles to recover bumpers and fuel tanks, recycle the materials and use them to manufacture pipes and new parts for vehicles. Using this recycled plastic in products from this industry and others will help reduce the carbon footprint by 85%.

A new plastic recovery process has been successfully implemented by one of the members of the consortium, the Valencian company Desguace Cortés. The process separates the polypropylene bumpers and polyethylene fuel tanks of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs). These materials are recycled for reintroduction into the production cycle, thus promoting the circular economy.

The project developed two recycled demo samples: one is a closed loop sample (plastic remains in the automotive industry), involving wheel liners for vehicles manufactured by the Aragon firm Sigit Automotive, while the other is an open loop sample, in which pipes and pipe fittings were manufactured at a production plant in Portugal.

The technology developed in the project can be applied to other authorised treatment facilities (ATFs) to obtain recycled plastics ready to be used to produce new products, such as household appliances, pest control devices and even farm tools.

The implementation of this part separation model in European ATFs is supported by the French company Indra, a pioneer in managing end-of-life vehicles. SIGRAUTO has also helped disseminate and transfer the project results.


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  • Plastic from ELVs generally ends up in landfills, damaging the environment and wasting reources. This project has developed an efficient method for bringing this plastic back into the value chain.
  • The project achieved a 20% reduction in the CO2 emissions generated during the manufacturing process of the new products thanks to the use of 30% recycled plastic from end-of-life vehicles.
  • The use of this recycled plastic in products for this industry and others will help reduce the carbon footprint by 85%.