Check it out: by 2015, all cars sold in Europe must be 95 percent recyclable. Apparently, Mercedes-Benz already has a 2007-model year car that meets the requirement.

Part of me wonders if automotive engineers aren’t actually excited by this sort of challenge. It seems that whenever a new idea like this comes along, the auto executives complain about how impossible and costly it will be — but as soon as the industry’s hands are forced, the engineers figure out how to pull it off faster and cheaper than the executives had claimed was possible. It happened with catalytic converters, with seat belts, with air bags. And now, if early signs are any guide, it’s happening with recycling.