The Parliament’s vote in favour of banning nickel-cadmium batteries
was immediately followed by a Commission statement rejecting the
MEPs’ disputed amendments.
On 20 April, the parliament’s plenary backed the position of the
Environment Committee. Under the proposal as it currently stands, a
ban is to be introduced on all batteries containing more than five
parts per million (ppm) of mercury by weight, 40 ppm of lead,
and/or 20 ppm of cadmium.
However, a list of applications that are to be exempt from the
ban is to be drawn up. These include products for which no
substitutes are yet available, including batteries designed for
aeroplanes, trains and cordless appliances.
These amendments will be rejected by the Commission in its
As regards targets for the collection of used batteries, the
Parliament backed a Committee proposal to collect 50 per cent of
ordinary household batteries sold in a given year. The Commission’s
initial target was more modest, at 40 per cent according to
Parliament (160 grammes per inhabitant or four to five units per
year). The Commission had also called for higher collecting targets
of nickel-cadmium batteries, at 80 per cent of the units disposed
These too, the Commission said, will be rejected in its modified
A point where Parliament and Commission agree is on making
producers contribute to the collection of all battery types.