If adopted by the EU Parliament and Council, they will be likely to come into effect in 2008, and apply to all cars and vans produced in the 25-member EU, excluding only vehicles produced in volumes of under 500 units p.a. in each Member State. The minimum recycling percentages to be reached from 2006 onwards under the EU Directive now in force are 80% for reuse and recycling and 85% for reuse and recovery. The EC intends to raise these minimum levels in 2015, when they will be set at 85% and 95% respectively; these targets will be re-examined by the European Parliament and the Council before they are put into effect.
The EC acknowledges there's a cost to its new targets that the industry will have to bear. Enterprise Commissioner Erkki Liikanen said, “It is essential for the manufacturers to incorporate recycling right from the development stage in producing new vehicles, and the industry will thereby demonstrate its commitment to producing safer, more environment-friendly vehicles, even if this results in increased production costs.”
Each year, between nine and ten million vehicles in the EU reach the end of their life on average 13 to 14 years after they were manufactured, generating between eight and nine million tonnes of 'waste'.