03 Feb 2000
We are delighted that MEPs have stood up to industry lobbying and approved this Directive. It sets a European precedent of making companies responsible for their products from the cradle to the grave. This is a very important principle,which should now be applied to electrical goods and other sectors. This will drive new technologies onto the market and will not only help protect the environment,but boost the economy and create jobs.
The Directive allows member states some lee-way in apportioning costs for the recycling of cars. Roger Higman continued:
We congratulate the UK Government on its support for this Directive. It must now ensure that it is fully implemented as soon as possible and that it is the car manufacturers - not the consumer - that picks up the bill.
 The Directive still needs to be rubber-stamped by the Council of Ministers.
 Every year between eight and nine million vehicles are discarded in the European Union,
generating between eight and nine million tonnes of waste. Of this, three-quarters - the metal content - is currently recycled. Virtually all of the rest - some two million tonnes - is shredded and landfilled where it makes up one tenth of the hazardous waste produced in the European Union. This hazardous waste contaminates soil and pollutes groundwater.
On top of this, as many as seven per cent of the vehicles abandoned in some EU Member States are not disposed of at all, but merely dumped. These litter the countryside and waste resources that could otherwise have been re-used.
Friends of the Earth
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Tel: 020 7490 1555
Fax: 020 7490 0881