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Lead-acid batteries still a ‘dominant’ issue for UK recyclers

United Kingdom – A total of 38 725 tonnes of portable batteries were placed on the UK market last year, reports the country’€™s Environment Agency. And more than half of the 17 232 tonnes of portable batteries received for recycling by government-approved parties were lead-acid batteries.

Despite a reduction in the weight maximum of portable lead-acid batteries from 10 kg to 4 kg, recycling results remain ‘heavily over-reliant’ on their collection, G&P Batteries argues.

The firm is calling for an investigation into the battery sector in the hope of ending the lead-acid battery’s ongoing ‘dominance’.

‘I can see no rational explanation as to why this situation perpetuates, unless there is a massive under-reporting of material going on to the market or a similar over-reporting of material coming off the market,’ comments G&P Batteries’ managing director Greg Clementson. If this were the case, it would imply that either battery manufacturers or approved battery treatment operators and the waste industry misunderstands the legislation.

Clementson stresses the need to look more closely into exactly how many batteries of other chemistries from the UK are being recycled. The current situation is ‘contrary’ to the aim and spirit of the legislation, he maintains, and ‘cannot be sustainable in the long term’.

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