Data released by The Environment Agency has indicated that the portable battery collection requirements were exceeded in the UK in 2013 with a large number of lead acid batteries being collected. The EU Batteries Directive target for the recycling of portable batteries, which was set at 30%, was exceeded with reports showing that in 2013, 11,800 tonnes of waste portable batteries were handled in treatment centres across the UK and caused the collection rate to rise to 32.37%.
Find out more about The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations.
Lead acid batteries
Despite achieving the target it is reported to have been only been exceeded due to the collection of an inexplicably high number of lead acid batteries. Although lead acid batteries only accounted for approximately 7% of batteries placed onto the UK market in 2013, around 10,500 tonnes of lead acid batteries (more than 88% of the total placed on the market) were collected last year.
The definition of portable batteries is currently any battery which is sealed, can be hand-carried without difficulty and is neither for automotive nor industrial purposes. Although the definition currently includes lead acid batteries, a new definition of portable batteries is expected to cause problems. The new definition is set to be announced in a consultation later this year after being delayed in December 2013.
Fears are rising around the new definition with suggestions that it will no longer include lead acid batteries as eligible for evidence. This will impact on the ability to meet increasing EU battery targets in the UK. Producer Compliance Scheme Comply Direct will inform members of consultation results and any legislation changes which may affect them.
For more information about waste batteries collection targets and our battery producer compliance scheme please click here to get in touch with the Comply Direct Batteries compliance team.