The release of the 2018 Q4 battery collection figures indicate that the UK is on track to hit the 2018 collections target with ease
Indicative figures for the collected and placed on market batteries, released on the 1 March 2019, illustrate that the UK could beat the 45% collection target by nearly 1%, should all the portable batteries evidence notes be accepted for batteries collected in 2018. This will be reconciled and confirmed in June 2019 by the Environment Agency.
Currently, the UK collection rate to date stands at 41.73%, as it only considers evidence accepted so far. This is because compliance schemes have until the 31 May 2019 to procure all the evidence they require for the 2018 compliance period.
Slight improvement in portable battery collections
The chart below highlights the changing proportions of battery evidence types collected over the last five years. Of concern last year was the ‘Other’ battery category that predominantly comprises of portable consumer batteries. This category accounts for approximately 95% of all batteries placed on the market year on year, yet in terms of collections in 2017 it only achieved 39.7%, falling from a high of 45.3% in 2016.
The indicative 2018 figures thankfully show a slight increase in ‘Other’ battery collections to 42.2%, but this is not to a level that improves upon the highs of 2016.
More progress is needed
Robbie Staniforth, head of policy at Ecosurety, commented that "It is pleasing to see this slight increase and we hope to see it continue through 2019. However, we have been working very closely with the government in recent months to see what adjustments can be made to the regulatory system to stimulate even more recycling of these household batteries.
We feel more progress is needed to incentivise the collections of household batteries. The sad truth is that many are still discarded inside electrical devices or simply placed in a general waste bin. Citizens and businesses need more options and better information.”
Can you help us boost battery collections in 2019?
Since 2017 Ecosurety has run a consumer awareness campaign called #BringBackHeavyMetal to help improve the collections of household portable batteries, after research revealed that around 178 million used batteries are languishing in UK households.
If you are a batteries producer or retailer and would like to be involved in the campaign in 2019 to help us super-charge collections, please contact our team.
Marketing projects specialist
Ben joined the team at the beginning of 2015 and helps drive marketing communications and projects for Ecosurety, including project managing the launch of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and website content development.