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Swedish scheme encourages automotive refrigerant recycling

SWEDEN: A group of Swedish automotive associations are backing efforts to create a sustainable, circular economy for refrigerant recovery and reclamation.

The aims of the Swedish project is to encourage the processing and usage of recovered refrigerant, prevent the use of illegal refrigerants, lower the CO2-emissions caused by manufacturing and transport of virgin refrigerants and minimise the ventilation into the atmosphere.

The project, which started in March, includes providing incentives to the automotive service industry to recover and sort used refrigerants and to provide the service companies and OEM’s with more affordable and sustainable reclaimed HFC and HFO refrigerants.

It is intended that 500-600 12.5 litre recovery cylinders, mainly for R134a and R1234yf, will be sent out with a three-month cycle period. Over 150 cylinders have been distributed since the project began and 22 contractors are currently sorting and recovering refrigerants. 

Recovered refrigerant is analysed and reclaimed by Helsinki-based specialist Eco Scandic Oy. The scheme is backed by Sweden’s national federation of automotive recyclers (SBR), the Swedish association of motor retail trades and repairs (MRF) and the Swedish association of vehicle workshops (SVFV). 

The scheme has also eased the bureaucratic process. Instead of being classified as waste, Eco Scandic and its partners had recovered refrigerant reclassified as “used, recovered refrigerant used as raw material for further processing”. Previously all quantities of recovered refrigerant had to be reported to the environmental authorities by the service companies, a bureaucratically heavy procedure for the companies. Now, Eco Scandic as a company having end-of-waste and environmental permits together with Nordic TFS, do all the reporting to the authorities.

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