Products at end-of-life
Batteries and the environment
Since 2008, there is a legal requirement (at EU level) to collect spent batteries for recycling (see Battery Directive 2006/66). This means that battery users can no longer throw batteries in domestic waste; users should deliver spent batteries to available collection points in their country (retailers, community collection points, schools,…). The Battery Directive obliges battery manufacturers and importers to take back all collected spent batteries and recycle them.
Sorting and recycling
Collected batteries should be recycled to recover their contained metals rather than to dispose of them in some other way. However, before recycling the batteries it is necessary to sort them according to their chemistry:
- General purpose alkaline manganese and zinc carbon batteries,
- Nickel cadmium and nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries,
- Lithium ion rechargeable batteries,
- Lead acid rechargeable batteries,
- Button cells
Several automatic and semi-automatic sorting facilities are now operating in Europe.
Once sorted the batteries can be recycled in more than 40 battery recycling plants in Europe and abroad.
The European Portable Battery Association (EPBA) has issued a comprehensive set of marking guidelines for batteries; see www.epbaeurope.net/batterymarking.html.
Collection in practice
PECE is participating in the following industry collection systems for batteries: