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International Automobile Recycling Conference (IARC) 2023 held in Geneva, Switzerland

 

The annual IARC International Automobile Recycling Conference (organized by the ICM, Switzerland) was held in Geneva, Switzerland. As a regular media participant, MIRU reports on a three-day program from 21 to 23 June.

 

Geneva in June, already in the middle of summer. Switzerland has always been one of the most expensive countries in Europe, but now you feel everything is even more expensive due to the fall of the yen. For example, a Burger King's menu costs around 20 Swiss francs (about 3200 yen). In addition, inflation across whole Europe stemmed from the prolonged war in Ukraine is pulling up prices everywhere.

 

Whilst not in easy situations, this year's IARC attracted about 200 participants both on-site and virtual from all over the world, mainly from Europe. Sponsors include BluBox Trading AG, Gallo, MTB, BAREC, Hensel Recycling, Toyota, Honda, and Tesla. Patrons are mainly from automobile/battery industry associations such as JAMA, JARA, from Japan, EGARA, Eurobat, Recharge, and EuRic from Europe.

 

At the Exhibition space, TOMRA, SGM Magnetics, Newell Recycling Equipment as well as vendors of lithium-ion battery safety solution such as Firebox, AkkuGrain, BeBat Pro held their booths. A test drive of the latest model from car OEMs, one of the features of this conference, was offered by Tesla and Honda this year.

 

In the opening remarks, Mr. Olivier Francois, currently President of the European Recycling Association (from Galloo), said that with the promotion of the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan, which form the core of EU policies now, the industry is facing unprecedentedly changes in business models. Automakers need to shift from the liner model based on the production and sales of new vehicles to a new model that focuses on the lifecycle of a car. Automobile recyclers will be largely affected by these changes as well. Recycling cars has a long history by comparison to other products. But what is required in the future is the further boost of reuse, and the increase of recycling rate of materials such as glass or plastics that have been considered difficult to recycle due to their profitability and technological barriers.

 

One of the main topics of this conference was, of course, the direction of the European ELV legislation, which the industry has been waiting a new proposal by the European Commission (update: it was published on13 July). A panel discussion was held on the 22nd with a representative from the European Commission, focusing the impact of the new ELV Regulation on the stakeholders in the related industries. Also, at the workshop scheduled for 23 June, more detailed information was revealed by the European Commission. Since the workshops held at the conference are normally not available on video which all participants have access, MIRU reports the details separately later. The presentation agenda of the conference mainly focused on the efforts by the automobile industry such as carbon footprint reduction or closing a loop of vehicles to respond to EU policies and legislations.

 

On the morning of the 21st, we had keynote speakers from ArceorMittel Europe that engages in the production of green steel and The Future is Neutral, a subsidiary of Renault Group, specialized in the circular economy of automobiles with the focuses on building a closed loop system in a car. This means that a new car will be produced from materials recycled from ELVs. In his presentation, the CEO of the Future is Neutral said that the company’s business strategy is based on partnerships from various sectors and is open to collaboration. We also heard some news from Asia in the afternoon session, on automobile recycling from China and South Korea. The details of each presentation will be followed.

 

Japanese website is here

 

 

Translated by Yukari SCHANZ, the article was originally appeared in Japanese.

 

 

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