2014 target hit but still more batteries recycling required

The 2014 figures for portable batteries data were released last week and we are pleased to say that the UK has met the 35% recycling target set by the government.

With targets steadily increasing over the last few years, the UK appears to be keeping pace by collecting 36.38%.

Market levels off

This increase comes along with figures that show there was no significant difference in the amount of portable batteries actually placed on the UK market from 2013 to 2014. It seems the portable battery market is remaining flat. Roughly 36,000 tonnes of portable batteries were placed on the market in both 2013 and 2014.

There were 4 additional producers in 2014 showing there has been no significant change in the number of companies registered. While sales of portable devices continues to grow, it appears that improvements in the light weighting of batteries has ensured the overall amount in tonnes has not increased.

Chemistry mix improves

The mix of batteries collected continues to improve. The amount of lead-acid batteries collected has reduced, compared with previous years, indicating that schemes are gearing up for the change to the definition of a portable battery that will result in less lead-acid evidence being available in the future.

New innovative, collection solutions

ecosurety is continuing with its innovative approach to improving collection solutions. We are working with major power tool companies such as Black & Decker, Makita, and Bosch to collect their specialist batteries. This specialised approach allows us to continue to increase collections of Nickel Cadmium and Other (including lithium ion and nickel metal hydride). Replicating this success in other sectors is key to achieving future targets.

Robbie Staniforth, batteries product manager at ecosurety commented, “There is a huge potential to increase the efficiency of collections here in the UK. We are bound a little by the fact that we have to export most of our batteries to be recycled on the continent. However, we’re extremely happy with the efficiency of collections from the Portable Electric Tools Manufacturing Association and are looking to replicate this success in other industries.”

In 2014, 33,512 tonnes of portable batteries categorised as “other” were put on the market, while only 2,826 tonnes of these were collected. This is a collection rate of only 8.4%, indicating that there is still more to do to ensure the average household battery gets recycled.

It is evident that local authorities need to do more to focus on collecting batteries as has happened with paper, plastics and more latterly, food waste. 

Please feel free to contact our batteries compliance specialists on 0845 094 2228 for more information. 

Abigail Warren

Head of Client Services

Abigail joined Ecosurety in 2015 and is now Client services manager, ensuring our team provide valuable support to our clients and look for additional value we can add beyond compliance. She graduated in 2014 with a BSc in Environmental Studies from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. Her degree is a reflection of her passion for environmental issues, which were evoked while growing up surrounded by the beautiful natural landscape of New England.

Written by Abigail Warren Published 28/07/2015 Topics Compliance

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