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Battery deposit schemes backed by MEPs

A European Parliament move to back deposit refunds schemes (DRS) for end-of-life batteries has been welcomed by FEAD, the Europe-wide association of waste managers.

The parliament’s committee for Internal Market and Consumer Protection has backed several amendments to the 2006 Directive on batteries and accumulators and more recent regulations, with DRS being a significant addition to the proposed policy.

FEAD backs the development for two main reasons. One is because it believes such schemes divert more batteries from the waste stream, reducing the risk of fire in waste facilities. The second is is that DRS is ‘a strong tool to increase collection rates because it helps avoid material losses from waste management circuits’.

The association’s response to the amendments is that high collection targets go result from mandatory DRS as part of a circular economy.  ‘This point is crucial, not only to achieve a high collection rate, which FEAD strongly calls for, but also to guarantee safe collection and treatment conditions for all battery-operated devices and for other waste.’

It points out that lithium batteries and accumulators incorrectly disposed of pose a high general risk of fire – not just in waste battery installations.

FEAD president Peter Kurth says: ‘The success of the ambitious recycling policy proposed by the new regulation will depend on the safe collection and high tonnages of waste batteries. Mandatory recycled content in new batteries, as proposed by EC Commission, is key for triggering more investments in the recycling chain.

‘To effectively recycle batteries, strong tools are needed to improve collection rates and strong pull measures are also needed to genuinely stimulate demand in recyclates.’ 

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