EU Battery Directive moves a step closer

The new EU Battery Directive is taking shape in readiness for its formal adoption, probably later this summer. However, battery recyclers and manufacturers still have some concerns about the proposed text, notably in relation to exemptions, recycling efficiencies, capacity labelling of batteries and the funding of public awareness campaigns aimed at maximising collections.

In early May, the EU reached a conciliation agreement on the new Battery Directive. Under its provisions, minimum collection targets of 25% of the average annual battery sales over the past three years will need to be met by 2012, rising to 45% by 2016. At least half of the collected batteries that do not contain lead or cadmium must be recycled - a target the European Parliament initially wanted to increase to 55%. Cadmium- and lead-containing batteries have attracted specific recycling targets of, respectively, 75% and 65%.

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