Late yesterday afternoon the Environment Agency released a summary document of the UK’s portable battery recycling performance for 2015.
This is the first report to include Q4 placed-on-the-market weights.
As an approved batteries compliance scheme, ecosurety enables its members to satisfy their obligations for portable batteries recycling evidence. The way we do this is by controlling waste portable batteries to ensure they are recycled. The document released by the EA is significant because it gives a good indication of whether we are near the required tonnage to hit the recycling target for the UK.
Below are the three key observations from the summary document that you need to know:
1) We’re confident we’re on target!
As it stands, compliance schemes have helped to ensure 39.97% of all waste portable batteries placed on the UK market were declared recycled by approved processing sites last year. The 2015 target was 40%.
This means that evidence notes equating to 0.03% are missing. This could either be down to an incorrect Q4 figure being declared, or that there are recycling evidence notes yet to be submitted.
2) The weight of portable batteries placed on the market is continuing to increase
Batteries producers – those placing batteries on the market - will know their obligations are calculated on a three year average, and 5.51% more batteries were placed on the market in 2015 compared to 2013.
As such not only are producers likely to have a higher placed-on-market figure, but this figure will then be multiplied by a higher recycling target to calculate their obligation, as the 2016 target is 45%, up from 40% in 2015. If you are a producer and have concerns about what these rises mean for your fees, do feel free to contact us.
3) Early adoption of the new portable lead acid battery classification ruling
Q4 2015 was the last quarter that approved treatment operators of batteries could issue portable recycling evidence on lead acid batteries weighing between 4 and 10kg. The expectation therefore was to see a spike in lead acid evidence issued by recyclers, however this wasn’t the case.
In fact, the weight of portable lead acid batteries received by recyclers dropped in Q4 compared to Q3 and instead portable batteries classified as ‘other chemistry’ enjoyed a significant increase (up 65.2%) over the same period. This indicates re-processors have already adopted new scoping and reporting methods which should help for 2016.
We’ll endeavour to keep you posted on any future releases from the Environment Agency as they emerge, but simply contact our team if you would like to know more about how you may be affected.
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.
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