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Battery Regulations are an `unnecessary piece of legislation`, says industry expert


Source: Materials Recycling Week

The new Battery Regulations are an “unnecessary piece of legislation” that creates bureaucracy and red tape, according to an industry expert.

Waste solutions provider Rabbitt Recycling chief executive Michael Morris questioned the logic behind the new Battery Regulations.

He said: “The main reason it was put in place is because the European masters said you have got to have a collection scheme in place. It is almost like a herd instinct without any forethought in place. Why put a total new infrastructure in place when you have got a perfect one in place already? The question they have failed to ask is where they (batteries) are going to be recycled?

“Put simply this is an unnecessary piece of legislation. There is an infrastructure [Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment] there already to deal with batteries without adding on another level of bureaucracy and red tape.”

Morris added that the WEEE and batteries infrastructure systems could have worked together rather than having a separate regulation for batteries.

The Battery Regulations came into force in the UK in May 2009. The main aim of the directive is to minimise the negative impacts of batteries and accumulators on the environment. According to figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,in the UK approximately 30,000 tonnes of portable batteries are placed on the market annually, of which 3 per cent are sent for recycling. The directive aims to increase the level of waste portable battery recycling by requiring Member States to collect at least 25 per cent of waste portable batteries by 2012 for recycling, increasing to 45 per cent by 2016.

Morris said: “Unless it is fundamentally clear where they (batteries) are going to be recycled, what is the bloody point in collecting them?

“Why do we need to differentiate another electrical product for crying out loud?”

A Defra spokesman said: “The UK, the same as all other member states, has to comply with European Union directives and the battery regulations enable us to do that.'

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