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India International Vehicle Recycling Summit – an eye-opener for all those involved

Last week saw members of the vehicle recycling community come together as Auto Recycling World hosted a series of webinars. The three-session event co-organised by the International Council for the Circular Economy (IC-CE) focused on the Indian vehicle recycling industry. It was truly an international event with speakers from India, the USA, Canada, Europe, and the UK.


India International Vehicle Recycling Summit - an eye-opener for all those involved p
On day three – panel discussion with Piotr Barczak and Shalini Goyal Bhalla

Although the event has now ended, recordings are now available on-demand by following this link.

Day one began with Auto Recycling World founder, Haydn Davies, greeting those attending before introducing Deepti Kapil from the Indian Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), who brought attendees up to date on the current regulations regarding scrapping vehicles in the continent.

After a panel discussion featuring Sanjay Mehta, Director MTC Group & President at Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI) and Shalini Goyal Bhalla, a circular economy expert from IC-CE who discussed EPR in the automotive industry, input came from representatives from the USA and the Netherlands. Sandy Blalock, Executive Director of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), inspired viewers on the importance of how vehicle recycling is a truly global industry. By sharing and working together, it can provide many benefits. Henk Jan Nix, General Secretary of the European Group of Automotive Recycling Associations (EGARA), was equally compelling, giving insight into the role they play in Europe, especially when it comes to the European Directive as it goes through its revision process. It was a topic that provided food for thought, especially for those attending from countries at the start of their vehicle recycling journeys.

The second session began with Managing Director & CEO of Mahindra, Sumit Issaar, providing a comprehensive account of the scale and challenges facing the Indian vehicle recycling industry and the ambition to succeed. Sujit Samaddar, an advisor to the MRAI, followed by giving a passionate presentation about the issue regarding the established informal sector in India and how to make it legitimate. He reported encouraging signs on how a younger generation of vehicle recyclers wished to undertake a more responsible approach to running their companies. He also highlighted the challenge ahead to integrate those involved in the informal sector with their wealth of knowledge for a more modern approach to auto recycling.

Tom Rumboll, CEO of UK company SYNETIQ, focused on sustainability and provided information about the company’s recent research on CO2 savings using recycled green parts. Following Tom was a panel discussion featuring Shilpi Kapur from TERI and MRAI Secretary-General, Amar Singh. They discussed the positives that could come from the Indian scrappage scheme but were mindful of the perils that could occur if not observed correctly.

The final session started with a wealth of information provided by Lalit Sharma, a researcher involved in ELVs. Lalit provided an overview of directives and global vehicle recycling processes and highlighted how India could not follow a specific one and needed to be prepared to adapt. Dr Bharat Bhushan, a waste management and ELV consultant followed Lalit and described the current scrapping standards in India and the challenges ahead. Steve Fletcher, Managing Director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC), provided first-hand experience of his country’s introduction of scrappage schemes. He highlighted the positives and possible pitfalls that such schemes offer and stressed the importance of open communication between stakeholders when setting out on such a journey. A sentiment that was echoed in the Q&A which followed his presentation.

The last panel discussion came from Piotr Barczak, Inclusive Circular Economy Expert at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB). Piotr discussed a new European approach to its New Circular Economy Action Plan and the part recycling vehicles would play, especially as electric vehicles become more prominent.

As much as the list of quality presentations helped create such a successful event, it was also the interaction of those attending that made it so dynamic. After each speaker, there were more questions asked than what time permitted, and there were many virtual group conversations taking place well after each day’s final speakers had finished.

Haydn Davies, the Editor of Auto Recycling World, commented that he couldn’t thank those who took part enough, especially with India’s current pandemic situation. He also said:

“Auto Recycling World is committed to bringing the auto recycling community together, and these webinars are an example of that. It is great to see so much dedication being applied to the task at hand regarding the scrappage scheme in India, and we look forward to hosting a similar event in the future to see how things are progressing. The feedback from those attending was great, and everyone commented on how insightful it was regardless of their geographic location and experience in the industry. It was great to see everyone receiving insight, sharing their thoughts and unique viewpoints.”

To view all video presentations and presentation slides, go to