New definition of portable batteries could reduce recycling

A UK-wide consultation proposes clarifying rules on batteries to boost recycling rates but could reduce the overall amount treated

A government proposal to change the definition of portable batteries is likely to boost recycling rates but lower the overall amount of material treated.

In a new consultation, DEFRA, the devolved governments and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) aim to clarify how EU responsibility rules apply to UK battery producers and recyclers.

Batteries are currently considered portable if they can be carried by an average person by hand without difficulty. The consultation proposes changing this contentious definition to a maximum three-kilogram weight limit, based on HSE guidance on manual handling and minimising the increased cost to producers.

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