Comparison of end‑of‑life vehicle material flows for reuse, material recycling, and energy recovery between Japan and the European Union

Bishal Bhari; Yano, J.; Sakai, S. (2021) Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 23: 644-663

Japan and the European Union (EU) both have well-established End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) policies and management systems.However, due to the differences in these policies and management systems, the flows and indicators reflecting the performance of ELV management are not directly comparable. Hence, the study aims to understand the ELV flows of Japan and the EU, and quantitatively compare its management performances. This study uses material flow analysis to compare the ELV material
flows of Japan and the EU. It quantifies the reuse, material recycling, energy recovery, and contributions of the different operations processes. Overall, it was estimated that Japan had the reuse and recycling rate of 83.7% and reuse, recycling and recovery rate of 99.5% for the year 2017, while the corresponding percentages for the EU for 2017 were 88.5% and 95.6%, respectively. Vehicles with unknown whereabouts are found to be significantly higher for the EU, while the used vehicle export fraction is significantly higher for Japan. Performance of automotive shredder residue treatment was also compared, and it was found that the EU had a lower energy recovery rate but a higher material recycling rate than Japan. Exports from
ELV treatment were also studied and found to be higher for Japan.


End-of-life vehicles; Material flow analysis; Performance indicators; European Union; Japan