The Commission adopted on 25 November a proposal for a new battery directive, setting minimum rules for national collection and recycling schemes, but falling short of banning cadmium.
The new directive will create an EU-wide framework for national battery collection and recycling schemes. This should prevent batteries from ending up in incinerators or landfills and should also recover the precious metal resources used in the batteries. The directive proposes the following measures:
- to ban the landfilling or incineration of all automotive and industrial batteries;
- to set up national collection systems, allowing consumers to return their spent batteries free of charge;
- to set a collection target for consumer batteries of 160g per inhabitant per year (corresponding to 4-5 portable batteries per person per year);
- to set a collection target of 80 per cent for nickel-cadmium consumer batteries;
- to set recycling targets of 65 per cent by weight for lead-acid batteries (all lead to be recovered), 75 per cent for nickel-cadmium batteries (all cadmium to be recovered) and 55 per cent for all other batteries;
- producers to be made responsible for costs related to collection, treatment and recycling;
- producers to be allowed to use a ‘visible fee’ for a maximum of five years after implementation.