A new International Standard will facilitate the recycling and recoverability of used road vehicles, reduce junk and contribute to the overall quality of the environment worldwide.

ISO 22628 costs 50 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat (customerservice@iso.org). The new standard is the work of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 22, Road vehicles.

"A standard to calculate the recyclability of end-of life vehicles has been needed by the automobile industry for some years", said Paul Serre, Chairman of the committee. "ISO/TC 22, due to its excellent implantation within the automobile industry and its commitment to the rapid development of standards, was chosen as the most suitable forum."

The new ISO standard provides manufacturers with a method for calculating the reuse and recycling percentage of vehicles, their components and materials before they are put on the market for consumer use. The standard will help dismantlers and recyclers identify what parts of the vehicle are recoverable, with a view to reusing the materials or components for new applications.

ISO 22628 is expected to increase the percentage of recoverable and recyclable materials used in the manufacture of motor vehicles as well as those recuperated during the dismantling process, thereby reducing the amount of waste that needs to be buried or incinerated and, at the same time saving vast amounts of energy.

According to the Commission of the European Community, between 8 and 9 million tonnes of waste are generated annually by scrapped vehicles in Europe. The European Parliament and the Council, on the basis of a proposal from the Commission, have adopted a Directive to reduce this impact on the environment.

"The European Commission knew that ISO was working on recyclability and informed ISO/TC 22 of its need for a reference on car recycling," said Mr. Serre. "With the collective good will and the deep involvement of the committee's working group, ISO 22628 was swiftly developed, benefiting from the unanimous approval of experts from the world automobile industry."

In view of the constant growth of the world fleet of vehicles and the increasing need for action on the indirect environmental consequences, ISO 22628 will also serve as a strategic tool towards building an industry-wide vehicle recycling infrastructure and, in doing so, achieve a higher percentage of vehicle recyclability and the use of recycled-content materials in new road vehicles.

The new ISO standard is likely to be used by vehicle manufacturers involved in the design and production of new road vehicles as well as vehicle dismantlers, materials recyclers, automotive trade organizations, and automotive research agencies.