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Pilot auto parts recovery program kicks off
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China Friday started a pilot program to recover discarded auto parts as part of its efforts to achieve circular economy.

The National Development and Reform Commission Friday signed with three auto makers and 11 parts manufacturers letters of commitment on the pilot auto parts recovery program.

Xie Zhenhua, deputy head of the nation's top economic planner, said at the program's opening ceremony that China annually scrapped more than three million motor vehicles and that to make good use of renewable resources in the scrapped vehicles was a major task for the country's auto industry in order to achieve sustainable development.

According to Dong Yang, an expert on auto parts recovery with the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, China produced 8.88 million motor vehicles last year. Its auto population will amount to 65 million in 2010, when more than four million vehicles will be scrapped annually. Then annual demand for auto parts will reach 65 billion yuan (9.2 billion U.S. dollars) worth nationwide, including 3.8 billion yuan worth of renewed products. Currently, renewed auto parts were valued at only 700 million yuan nationwide annually.

Circular economy is a model for economic growth which aims at environmental protection, pollution prevention and sustainable development.

Under this model, resources are used with higher efficiency and reused and recycled when possible, so that pollution is minimized and waste is reduced as much as possible. It also involves the transformation of industrial organization and allocation, urban infrastructure, environmental protection, technological paradigms, and social welfare distribution.

An important part in China's effort toward sustainable development, circular economy was officially raised as a target for China's future growth in 2004. The State Council issued a file about promoting it in July 2005, making it a key guideline in the 11th Five-Year Plan and to achieve the specific goals in energy conservation and pollution reduction before 2020.

(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2008)

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