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Australian recycler tackles ‘skyrocketing’ battery waste

South Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem has teamed up with Envirostream Australia to develop safe and innovative recycling solutions to reduce battery waste.

Processes and facilities established by Envirostream are capable of recycling up to 95% of end-of-life battery materials. However,  Australia’s low rates of lithium-ion battery recovery could cost up to AU$ 3 billion (EUR 1.8 billion) annually in economic losses.

Only about 2% of used batteries are currently recycled in Australia, according to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. The country generates 3 300 tonnes of battery waste per year.

The partnership with LG Chem aims to find a way to increase battery recycling rates. ‘Starting with Australia, we hope this provides the opportunity to expand sustainable options for lithium-ion battery disposal,’ says Jamie Allen, general manager of LG Chem Australia.

In 2017, Envirostream’s AU$ 2 million facility at Campbellfield in Victoria was the first in Australia to recycle lithium-ion batteries. The company recycled 298 tonnes of post-consumer batteries.

Battery waste is ‘an increasing threat to the Australian environment’, the recycler states. ‘With demand for batteries skyrocketing, the waste problem is an ever-growing concern.’

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