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Car battery recycling system ‘no easy job’ for China

China – Global car battery producers and recyclers have urged the Chinese government to combat illegal practices and come up with clear regulations on the recycling of batteries in order to protect the environment and make the industry more sustainable, reports the South China Morning Post.

China has the world’s largest car market but no recycling standard for vehicle batteries. The country generates up to 2 million tonnes of used lead-acid batteries each year, and the mishandling of the scrap lead and leftover acid has the potential to contaminate soil and water, it is argued.

There are around 2000 car battery producers on the mainland, mostly smaller players with little financial strength. A planned consolidation of the industry would see the total number of companies slashed to some 300.

According to Kenneth Yeng, vice-president and general manager of Johnson Controls in China, a major battery manufacturer and recycler that sold more than a third of the world’s vehicle batteries last year, the industry needs ‘a well-regulated and efficient recycling system’ for used vehicle batteries. ‘This is no easy job, but we hope to bring our expertise and technologies to China with support from the local governments,’ he adds.

Johnson Controls recently began production at a US$ 154 million plant in Chongqing with a capacity to produce 6 million car batteries each year. The company also plans to open a facility in northern China by 2018.

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