It's the Environment, Stupid.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Battery recycling in EU

On Tree Hugger this morning is a post about Battery Recycling Laws for European Union

The law allows customers to return batteries to retailers to increase the recovery rates. "According to the EU, about 800,000 tonnes of automotive batteries, 190,000 tonnes of industrial batteries and 160,000 tonnes of portable (consumer) batteries are placed on the European market annually. And as they rightly observe thousands of tonnes of metals, such as nickel, cobalt and silver, will be recovered when batteries are recycled."

It was my understanding, however, that batteries aren't truly recycled, but are just disposed of safely. If this law is effective and can increase recovery rate of batteries, and thus decrease the amount going into landfills, that's great. But like much legislation on e-waste and recycling, it is still burdening retailers and consumers instead of the manufacturer, which isn't much of a fast track to product innovation.


  • That's true Amy, but the retailer is only one (or maybe two) steps away from the manufacturer. Large retailers might be prompted (and be able) to put pressure on manufacturers and smaller retailers may have incentives to stock products that are easier / cheaper to dispose of or that last longer before they're returned. So this should give manufacturers some incentive to innovate. I agree though - why not place the burden directly on the manufacturer?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20:32  

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