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BERR: Draft regulations for batteries out by end of this year


Source: Materials Recycling Week

The Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) has revealed that it plans to launch consultations and a draft regulation for batteries by the end of this year. But it says that regulations will not come into effect until 2010 to the dismay of industry stakeholders.
Under the Batteries Directive the UK will have to collect 25% of waste portable batteries by 2012 and 45% by 2016.

Last month the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) published the results of its three-year battery collection trial research which concluded that a mixture of collection options will be needed to achieve the 2012 and 2016 targets (See MRW story).

A BERR spokeswoman said: “Regulations will be implemented in parliament in spring 2009 but the first compliance period will not start until January 2010, subject to various parliamentary procedures.

“We expect the consultation and draft regulations to come in before the end of the year, which should hopefully be in the next three weeks. The consultation should last for eight weeks and in the spring the regulations will be laid.

“The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is confident that the UK will meet its targets.”

This adds a further delay to the regulations as they were meant to be published by the end of January 2009 after further consultation with stakeholders (MRW September 30).

A Defra spokesman said: “Our goal is to recycle 25% of portable waste batteries by 2012 and 45% by 2016 and we will soon be consulting on the best way to do this.”

The technical side of the regulations started on September 26. But with the regulations yet to be laid many industry stakeholders believe that the UK will miss its targets. Businesses wishing to place new batteries on the UK market from September 26 must introduce a labelling regime to aid recycling (See MRW story).

Battery recycling firm G&P Batteries managing director Michael Green said: “My attitude is one of continued disappointment that there is still no clarity on a number of areas and we have continued delays that makes it more and more likely that the UK is not going to meet its targets for 2012.”

“The delays just put more and more pressure on producers and makes missing the targets more likely. It is a great shame.

“Unlike the Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, the UK was already collecting and recycling WEEE and meeting its targets so the Government did not need to promote WEEE in an advertising campaign to educate the public. With batteries, however, this is a different story because we have targets that we need to achieve.

“Some battery trials may also have to stop because WRAP has stopped receiving funding. This sends out a negative message to the household. It is not a good message to get across and it is one of our biggest hurdles.”

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