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Defra Delays Portable Battery Consultation

Defra has announced a delay in the publication of guidance on the portable battery definition after an error in consultation supporting data.

Portable batteries are the only category that has a recycling target. As battery recyclers are often unaware of the original use of some lead-acid batteries, there is concern that many are reported as ‘portable’, inflating the number of lead-acid batteries counted towards recycling targets.

Proposals put out this year by BIS, Defra, Environment Agency and the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish administrations sought to amend the definition of portable batteries to give a more specific classification.

Clarity’s Managing Director, David Adams said: “Clearly this needs to be resolved, but there is now uncertainty over whether the goalposts will be changed part of the way through the compliance year. Should the government opt for a 3 kg threshold, we could see a rush to recycle batteries that are over this threshold and would have previously been classed as ‘portable’ before the new regulations come in.”

A new consultation will be held next spring and until then Defra has stated that the industry should continue to use current guidance.

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