Interim battery targets proposed

The Environment Department (DEFRA) has published suggested interim targets for portable battery collection in a discussion document.1

The EU batteries Directive requires member states to collect 25% of portable batteries by 2012 and 45% by 2016 (ENDS Report 381, pp 30-33 ). The UK currently collects less than 2%.

The document suggests 8% of batteries should be collected by 26 September 2009, 15% by 26 September 2010, 20% by 26 September 2011 and 25% by 26 September 2012.

Retailers are likely to collect batteries in store, it says. Batteries will also be collected with WEEE or separately by councils, and schools and libraries will be encouraged to establish collection points. A postal collection scheme will be tested by the Waste and Resources Action Programme.

Producers will be able to meet obligations under the Directive by registering with a compliance scheme, but the option of complying individually seems to have been ruled out because "a more planned approach to compliance will be needed". Collection targets for each scheme will be based on market share.

Data will be handled by a dedicated ‘franchise’ funded by compliance schemes, which might also manage consumer information on behalf of schemes.

Separate documents outlined initial thoughts on battery treatment and evidence of compliance2 and distance sellers and business end-users.3 It is likely that the Environment Agency will be left to specify the form that proof of compliance will take.

The government plans to consult on its initial proposals in the summer. The Directive should be transposed into UK law by September 2008.

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