L-R: Keith Freegard (Axion Polymers Director), Guy Verhofstadt and Uchenna Onwuamaegbu, Axion Project Engineer.
New laboratory testing facilities at Axion Polymers’ Manchester-based end-of-life (ELV) vehicle recycling facility have been officially opened by the Liberal candidate for European Commission President and former Prime Minister of Belgium, Guy Verhofstadt MEP.
Verhofstadt praised Axion’s progress at its advanced multi-million pound Shredder Waste Advanced Processing Plant (SWAPP), which is already capable of delivering the 2015 EU ELV 95 percent recycling and recovery target.
This is achieved by producing recycled plastics, including Axpoly r-PP51 that goes back into new automotive components. Other materials recycled at the plant include aggregates for the construction industry and high calorific solid recovered fuel.
“It’s great innovation. This plant is the future and we will need more like them as we move to a Circular Economy. We should encourage the automotive industry to make more use of recycled materials that are produced here,” said Verhofstadt, who is leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).
His recent visit, during which he was accompanied by Chris Davies, Liberal Democrat MEP for the North West, provided the opportunity to see the impact of European legislation on end-of-life vehicle recycling.
Commenting, Axion Director, Keith Freegard, said: “While it was very rewarding to see that someone so senior in European Government has taken an interest in the new green economy that we’re creating here in Manchester, it was also the perfect opportunity to highlight the need for economic or legislative drivers that encourage more engagement from automotive manufacturers with the products that are now becoming available from end-of-life treatment.”
“At the moment in the UK there is a lack of any positive driver to make that happen,” Freegard continued. “What we need now in the next phase of moving towards a Circular Economy is legislation is a ‘big carrot’ - some fiscal benefit to car manufacturers who can demonstrate the conversion of significant quantities of fully traceable recycled polymers from the automotive treatment plants back into new vehicle components.
“I think that enabling good quality recycled products to break into the automotive sector and a rethink in the design of new components for cars really needs some Governmental intervention to create the pump-priming effect to start it happening.”
He added: “Vehicle manufacturers need some rewards for taking the brave steps to select and use these new circular flow materials. It was great to get Mr Verhofstadt thinking about what would be the correct type of ‘big carrot’ that could be implemented across Europe to generate that necessary new driver in the economy.”