UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: New regulations for producers of industrial and automotive batteries

Press Release   •   Dec 30, 2009 10:13 GMT

New legislation, designed to ensure that all waste industrial and automotive batteries are recycled in the future, will come into effect on 1 January 2010.

Producers of industrial and automotive batteries will be required to arrange the collection, treatment and recycling of such batteries, free of charge, if requested by business end-users and final holders.

Key elements of the new regulations include:

Requiring any persons placing batteries on the market to register as a producer of batteries, and report on waste batteries collected and sent for recycling;

Requirements for the treatment and recycling of waste batteries

The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009 complement the existing Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) regulations 2008, which set out the requirements for introducing new batteries onto the market from 26 September last year.

These regulations also introduce a ban on the landfill disposal or incineration of waste industrial and automotive batteries.

Ian Lucas, Minister for Business and Regulatory Reform, said:

“These regulations are designed to complement the excellent recycling rates traditionally achieved for industrial and automotive batteries.

“In simple terms, business users of industrial batteries, and final holders of automotive batteries, such as garages, End-of-Life Vehicle authorised treatment facilities, and Civic Amenity site operators, will no longer be faced with the costs that may be incurred through recycling scrap batteries. These costs will now be met by the producers.”

PN 2009/335

ENDS

Notes to editors

The regulations implement the waste provisions of the European Union’s Directive on Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators (2006/66/EC).

The EU's Directive on Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators (2006/66/EC) aims to reduce the environmental impact of portable, automotive and industrial batteries by increasing recycling and ‘greening’ the supply chain that produces and distributes them. It applies to all types of batteries regardless of shape, volume, weight, material composition or use, except for military applications and space applications.

Producers are businesses, which first place industrial or automotive batteries on the UK market, either loose or incorporated into appliances or vehicles.

Examples of industrial batteries include those used for emergency or back-up power supply in hospitals, airports or offices, in trains and aircraft, offshore oil rigs and lighthouses, and in electric vehicles

An automotive battery is a battery used for starting, lighting or ignition in vehicles and motorcycles.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will take responsibility for registering industrial and automotive producers and enforcing the relevant waste industrial and automotive battery provisions.

The regulations also introduce targets for the collection and recycling of portable (mainly household) batteries of 25% by 2012, and at least 45% by 2016. Producers who place more than 1 tonne of portable batteries on the market in a year must join a Battery Compliance Scheme (BCS) which will arrange for the collection and recycling of waste portable batteries on their behalf. Producers who place less than 1 tonne of portable batteries on the market must register with the Environment Agency but do not have to fund the collection or recycling of batteries.  From 1 February 2010, all portable battery distributors who supply more than 32kg of batteries a year to end users, will have to provide a take back facility free of charge so the batteries can be recycled. All types of portable battery must be accepted back not just those they sell.  However they do not have to pay for their transport and treatment; BCS’s are obliged to collect them free of charge.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is responsible for the implementation of the regulations in relation to portable batteries. Further information can be found at www.businesslink.gov.uk/batteries.”

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.

For further information, contact Gareth Greene at the BIS Press Office on: 020 7215 5974 or email: gareth.greene@bis.gsi.gov.uk

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