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UK Fails to Meet Battery Recycling Target

Provisional figures have indicated that the UK has failed to meet its European battery recycling target for 2016.

The UK battery collection target is 45%, which is made up of the average amount of portable batteries placed on the UK market by battery compliance scheme members and small producers in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Provisional figures published by the Environment Agency this month show that a total of 17,232 tonnes of batteries were collected for treatment by compliance schemes throughout 2016, just missing the collection obligation of 17,289 tonnes.

Around 8,745 tonnes of the tonnage collected was comprised of lead-acid batteries, which means that lead-acid batteries accounted for 49% of the UK’s overall collection rate, despite making up only around 6% of the total tonnage placed onto the market during that time, with 1,936 tonnes placed on the market.

Portable batteries are the only category to which a recycling target has been attached. In January 2016 new guidelines were introduced that meant that any battery over 4 kg was classed as industrial. The guidelines were intended to address the incorrect classification of lead-acid batteries, which was previously thought to be skewing data on the number of portable batteries collected for recycling. Battery recyclers claimed that as they were often unaware of the original use of some lead-acid batteries, it was impossible to determine if they fell into the industrial or portable classification.

However, despite the change in guidance, there has been no reduction in the proportion of portable lead-acid battery evidence.

The Q4 figures indicate that larger producers have met their target for last year through their compliance schemes and the shortfall has come from smaller producers who are not required to contribute to collection schemes.

Clarity collects and recycles scrap vehicle batteries, providing a professional and efficient vehicle battery trading service with excellent market rates and free, prompt and reliable collections of scrap lead-acid batteries across the UK. If you want to sell scrap vehicle batteries, contact a member of our team to find out more or request a call-back.

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