The EU Commission has presented Volkswagen with the “European Business Award for the Environment” for an end of life vehicle recycling process characterized by its high environmental compatibility and ability to preserve resources. Volkswagen developed the technology which converts waste back into raw materials in cooperation with SiCon GmbH.

European Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas presented the prize in the “Process Award” category to the Volkswagen Group on Thursday. The award-winning Volkswagen-SiCon process recovers materials from end of life vehicle residue which in the past could not be viably separated. The treated secondary raw materials can then be returned to production processes rather than ending up on landfills or in waste incineration plants.

“The environmentally compatible recycling of end of life vehicles is part of Volkswagen’s commitment to sustainable development. We are an innovation leader in this field, since we recognized early on that end of life vehicles are not tiresome waste, but rather a valuable raw material source, and developed the appropriate products and processes for environmentally compatible recycling at an early stage” said Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, Dr. Bernd Pischetsrieder.

Following treatment in the Volkswagen-SiCon process, hard plastics, rubber, textiles, glass and metal residues replace primary raw materials and thus contribute to protecting natural resources. Apart from the ecological aspect, this process presents an economically attractive alternative for secondary raw material users as raw material prices continue to rise.

The demonstration plant for the Volkswagen-SiCon process is located in Kallo near Antwerp, Belgium, on the site of one of Europe’s most progressive scrap recycling companies Belgian Scrap Terminal N.V. (BST). Further plants based on this process are planned or under construction in seven European countries.

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