- Scrapyards sell auto chassis & other metal parts (e.g. aluminum) and batteries (lead-acid) back to manufacturing companies to be recycled/reused. Since plastics are less standardized, the auto plastics recycling market could be less well developed.
- Since plastic blends are diverse, it can be tricky to recycle plastics. Mono-plastics have the highest chance of being reused as they only contain one plastic type. Parts with multiple plastic types are hard/impossible(?) to recycle since they can’t be separated into individual types (?).
- Scrapyard operators collect plastic car parts (e.g., dashboards, bumpers, handles, buttons, casings, ceiling fabric, seats, seat belts, airbags, carpeting, etc.) and send them back to car manufacturers via some online tool.
- Volvos was piloting this in Sweden. Goal: 1/4 recycled material in a new car
- Car production: VW produces ~10M (2019: 11M, 2021: 8.6M) cars per year; globally: 100M (2019: 92M, 2021: 80M, all time high 2018: 97M)
- A car might have 150kg of plastic → max global roughly 15Gt (15B tons)
- Let’s assume the price of recyclate is 200€/t; EU Stats: 245 €/t; this is washed & shredded plastic, not “raw” used parts.
- (1) Whats the actual market size in tons?
- → How much of the plastic in cars can be recycled? (e.g. share of mono-plastics - don’t know enough about plastic)
- → I’d assume more cars are being produced than scrapped
- → I’d imagine comparatively more cars are scrapped in lower GDP countries bc a lot of cars get a second life in these countries (I remember the car of my parents got declared totaled by the insurance bc the repair was more expensive than the estimated value of the car but was actually easy to repair and sent to an African country for repair and reuse)
- (2) What could be your cut?
- How much does transforming raw plastic to recyclate (pellets or other forms) cost?
- How much do the scrapyard operators want to get paid?
- Completely made up assumptions
- (1) Actual market size: 5%
- (2) Your cut: 3%
- -> 200/150,1*0,03 = 4.5B€ market
- The supply chains of the auto industry are quite optimized compared to other industries. There might be better recycling verticals (see Verticalized Resourcify)