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Consultation to remove NiCd and Mercury from batteries now closed

There has recently been a consultation on implementing the European Directive 2013/56/EU amendment to the Batteries and Accumulators Directive 2006/66/EU on the ban of cadmium and mercury in batteries.

This consultation, ran by The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), closed on the 5th November and from this we are now one step closer to having less toxic batteries entering the waste stream.

The consultation sought views on the implementation policy, draft 2015 Regulations and draft Impact Assessment. It is of particular relevance to the producers of batteries and suppliers of those products containing batteries, not forgetting those companies that are tasked with treating these batteries. The government estimation is that there are in the region of 5000 managers who now will need to familiarise themselves with the 2015 Regulations and any changes relevant to them. This figure is based on the Annual Business Survey, that identified an estimated 13 power tool manufacturers based in the UK, representing a £140m turnover.

The key requirements of the Directive were:

  • To extend the ban of cadmium used in batteries to those batteries used in cordless power tools. These batteries previously benefited from an exemption. This would come into effect from 31 December 2016.
  • To prohibit the marketing of button cell batteries with a mercury content of less than 2% by weight. This ban would apply from 1 October 2015.

Batteries and accumulators lawfully placed on the market for the first time prior to the bans can still be marketed until stocks have depleted.

It is hoped the implementation of this new European Directive would:

  • Diminish the amount of NiCd batteries in household waste which are released into the environment through landfill.
  • To help reduce the risk of mercury polluting the environment.
  • To increase competition and consumer choice by enabling consumers to go to independent qualified professionals, not exclusively those representing the manufacturers, for replacement of batteries in products.

Next Steps

The Government's intent is to be able to publish a response within 8 weeks of the consultation closing. With the final version of the new Regulations being laid before parliament to come into force from 1 July 2015. ecosurety looks to keep their members as up-to-date as possible on this. If you have any queries about the consultation, draft 2015 Regulations or your batteries membership please contact our Compliance Team on 0845 094 2228 or batteries@ecosurety.com.

 


Robbie Staniforth

Innovation and policy director

Robbie is innovation and policy director at Ecosurety. Having spent years building an intimate understanding of the industry’s policies and politics, he uses this knowledge to help shape new legislation and oversees Ecosurety’s growing portfolio of cross-industry innovation projects including Podback and the Flexible Plastic Fund. He has worked closely with Defra during the most recent packaging consultations, outlining the impacts and required transitional arrangements of the UK’s new EPR system and is a member of the government’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP). He is also a spokesperson for the company and regularly uses his influence to communicate the importance of environmental responsibility to external stakeholders.


Written by Robbie Staniforth Published 02/12/2014 Topics Compliance

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