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EU wants new battery recycling directive

Archiv – The Environment Directorate of the European Commission has announced a new round of consultation on plans to draft a comprehensive directive on battery waste collection and recycling, according to the U.K.-based environmental news agency ENDS Daily. It is to be among the first legislative proposals to pass through an ’extended impact assessment’ under the commission’s better regulation initiative.The Environment Directorate of the European Commission has announced a new round of consultation on plans to draft a comprehensive directive on battery waste collection and recycling, according to the U.K.-based environmental news agency ENDS Daily. It is to be among the first legislative proposals to pass through an ’extended impact assessment’ under the commission’s better regulation initiative.
The move represents a return to the drawing board for the European Commission, and effectively erases a draft directive presented by the environment directorate almost two years ago. Progress on the dossier stalled due to differences within the commission over the treatment of nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) rechargeable batteries.
The new consultation paper is brief and asks for stakeholders’ input on three key issues by the end of April. These are: collection targets, recycling targets and cadmium. Three or four options for each are being tabled.
Three target ranges are proposed for battery collection rates: 30-40%, 60-70% and 70-80%. Car batteries would have a separate target of anywhere between 70% and 100%. The three proposed target ranges for battery recycling rates vary between 45-55% and 65-75%. Proposed car battery recycling targets are slightly higher still.
In addition, the directorate is seeking views on the introduction of producer responsibility for spent batteries, with free take-back along the lines of the new WEEE or electroscrap directive.
Finally, the paper sets out several possibilities for regulating Ni-Cd batteries, including separate collection and recycling targets ranging between 60-90% and 50-80% respectively, and a ban on cadmium where commercially viable substitutes are available. There might also be a separate cadmium recovery target if Ni-Cd batteries are not banned.

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