The cornerstones of our recycling policy are the recycling oriented design and the recovery concept for end of life vehicles (ELVs). It means your car is made using more recycled materials and wasting fewer resources than ever. And when it comes to disposing of an old Opel, we make sure almost nothing goes to waste.
Because the environment is so important to us, we're increasing the efficiency of our recycling process by designing products from the start to be recyclable.
Opel's design for recycling strategy is a key element in our product responsibility. And aims to decrease the waste produced during vehicle production as well as at the end the vehicle's life. Opel's design for recycling is part of our commitment to the environment and the preservation of precious material and energy resources.
In terms of product development Opel's recycling strategy is based on two cornerstones:
To ensure that all Opel products meet our recycling aims, all Opel design teams must follow the 'Recyclability/Recoverability' guidelines. These guidelines have been created to support both Opel engineers and suppliers in their development of recyclable vehicles. This process also helps engineers to assess the ease at which parts, components etc. can be recycled at the end of the vehicle's life.
Opel has a long tradition of using recycled materials, also known as recyclates. More than 130 plastic recyclate types have been specified and approved for use in production.
In comparison to new resources, recyclates must fulfil all the same technical specifications and be produced at a lower cost. Where these two criteria are met, recycled materials are preferred, but quality is never compromised. Our recycling team takes every effort to maintain high quality look and feel, mechanical and thermal durability, along with performance standards.
In fact because of our recycled materials are of such a high standard and quality, they can now be used for visible parts as well as hidden parts of Opel cars.
The last owner takes the ELV to one of our contracted take-back partners. After checking the vehicle our take-back partner issues the required Certificate of Destruction (CoD).
First of all the battery is taken off and the airbags are neutralized. Our take-back partner then takes out all fuels and other operating fluids of the ELV. This includes engine oil, transmission oil, brake fluid, coolant & refrigerant fluid from the air conditioning system.
The next step is the dismantling of components and systems in order to market them as used parts or to use them as basis for remanufactured parts. If economically viable, materials like plastic or glass are taken off for recycling purposes.
Environmentally hazardous materials are collected and later on sent to specialized recovery companies for recovery or disposal.
The pre-treated hulks are delivered to a shredder which segregates the ELV into pieces and sorts the output into various fractions for further recycling or recovery.
These segregated material fractions from the shredder are further processed with different technologies (magnet, eddy current, flotation) to obtain material fractions which can be used as valuable secondary raw materials.
Material fractions from the shredder and from the PST plants can be recycled (e.g. as replacement for coal in blast furnaces, dewatering means in sewage sludge) or recovered in the cement industry. This process enables a recovery of 85% of the vehicle and reduces drastically the amount of remaining waste for landfill.