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Motorcycles in the EU may be subject to new end-of-life legislation

Motorcycles in the EU may be subject to new end-of-life legislation on recycling and reuse. Targets for recycling, and the safe disposal of certain fluids and heavy metals, are set by the End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive, which until now has not included motorcycles, but the European Commission is considering lumping them in with cars.

The Directive prevents the use of certain heavy metals such as cadmium, specifies the de-pollution of fluids and specific components, and requires vehicles to be recycled at treatment facilities (ie not at home). Its current target for recycling is 85%, and in 2019 the EU average for recycling vehicles was 86.9%.

The Federation of European Motorcyclists (FEMA) has hit back at plans to include motorcycles in the ELV Directive by pointing to evidence that bikes are already comprehensively recycled at the end of their useful life In a survey of five Swedish scrapyards, which between them handle 500-700 motorcycles per year, the Swedish Motorcyclists Association (SMC) found that 80-100% of each bike was recycled. Whole components are resold to customers, while the rest is recycled within current guidelines for plastics, liquids and metal.

FEMA argues that including motorcycles in the ELV Directive would increase bureaucracy and would have implications for classic and historical motorcycles, which need original spare parts to stay on the road. FEMA adds that it wants “in-house demolition” (ie dismantling a bike at home) to be allowable within the Directive and that historic bikes are exempt.

BMF Chair Jim Freeman concurred: “Motorcycles are not cars. Which may be stating the bloomin’ obvious, but, as usual, legislators have to have this spelt out for them. Parts recycling of motorcycles is as old as motorcycling, many of us wouldn’t be able to keep our bikes on the road without, especially with the cost of new parts being what it is. Well done FEMA for pointing it out.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

To read FEMA article please click here

Top image courtesy of Aaron Huber on Unsplash