Waste Battery Regulations
The EU Battery regulations 2006/66/EC is the framework which determines how batteries and waste batteries should be managed throughout Europe, including in the UK.
These regulations were reinforced in the UK by the passing of two Statutory Instruments (SI’s) one in 2008 No. 2164: The Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008 – and the second in 2009 No. 890: The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009.
Anyone involved in the sale of batteries or products or appliances with batteries in must be aware of, and comply with these regulations irrespective of the type, chemistry or use of the batteries or appliance.
The primary objective of the Directive is to minimise the negative impact of waste batteries and accumulators on the environment – in so much as it aims primarily to prevent heavy metal and other pollution, however, it is not a carbon reduction initiative, although the impact of carbon reduction may well guide subsequent amendments to the legislation.
The main guiding principle of the Directive is that it holds ‘Producer Responsibility’, meaning that any costs associated with meeting the requirements of the Directive have to be met by the producers of the batteries.
End users of the batteries, irrespective of the type, must be able to access recycling for their waste, and this must be available free of charge for those end users who place their waste batteries in the system, to ensure those batteries are recycled.
Waste Battery Regulations
The legislation identifies three different categories of batteries:
- Automotive batteries
- Industrial batteries
- Portable batteries
The guidance notes set out for these three different categories outlines specific collection targets for portable batteries, which in recent years has increased from 10% of the batteries “placed upon the market” each year to 45%, and, by stating that neither Automotive or Industrial batteries can not be landfilled or incinerated, effectively set a 100% collection target for those types.
Regulations also determine three different chemistries of battery:
- Lead acid batteries
- Nickel cadmium batteries
- ‘Other’ batteries
These then set minimum standards for recovery or material during the recycling process (55%, 65% and 50% respectively).
Each category of battery can be found manufactured from each different chemistry, although some are more common than others.
Currently, the majority of Automotive batteries are lead acid, as are the majority of Industrial batteries, but increasingly, the introduction of Lithium Ion for Electric and Hybrid electric cars and other vehicles means that the proportions are changing. By far the majority of portable batteries are Alkaline (75-80%) but with the increase in rechargeable portable appliances in everyday life, from power tools, laptops and tablets to mobile phones, other chemistries of portable batteries are becoming increasingly common.
From collection through to storage, recycling and disposal, when you use PBR, it’s quick and easy to dispose of your waste batteries, giving you peace of mind than you’re fully compliant in the process.