Automobiles contribute very significantly to air pollution and have been shown to increase instances of both lung cancer and asthma. The source of many pollutants is the vehicles’ emissions, but ecological issues also arise from end-of-life vehicles. Automobile usage has grown extremely rapidly since commercially available automated vehicles were introduced in the late 19th century. With this rise have come both environmental and health problems as a result of the pollution they produce.
According to definitions laid out in the Waste Framework Directive, it is primarily the customer’s will which defines a given vehicle an end-of-life vehicle. However, in certain cases a vehicle is considered end-of-life simply due to the condition it is in. In 1997, the European Commission adopted a Proposal for a Directive which aims at making vehicle dismantling and recycling more environmentally friendly, sets clear quantified targets for reuse, recycling and recovery of vehicles and their components and pushes producers to manufacture new vehicles also with a view to their recyclability. The objective of the ELV Compliance is to prevent waste from end-of-life vehicles and promote the collection, re-use and recycling of their components to protect the environment. The directive requires ELV treatment sites to meet stricter environmental standards so as to reduce the damage done to the environment because of the vehicle getting scrap. It also sets higher reuse, recycling and recovery targets and limits the use of hazardous substances in both new vehicles and replacement vehicle parts. ELV directive tries to balance the imbalance created by vehicle pollution.