Monday, April 22, 2024

Taking charge of battery recycling

The Battery Stewardship Council, Australia’s official battery product stewardship scheme, has unveiled plans for a radical increase in participation, alongside a new look public program called B-cycle.

The scheme will lead Australia’s efforts to responsibly manage the recycling of batteries and B-cycle is set to be fully operational with a network of drop-off locations in retail spaces by January 2022.

Waste batteries, especially those used in small handheld devices, are one of the fastest growing waste streams, says The Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction Trevor Evans.

“This industry-led scheme will play an essential role in significantly increasing Australia’s battery collections and recycling, and help our circular economy grow. But it will only work if industry plays its part.”

There are already a number of prominent battery and electronic brands, retailers, and battery collectors who have committed to the B-cycle Scheme: Bunnings, Coles, Duracell, Energizer, and Woolworths.

“A whopping 90% of Australia’s handheld batteries brought into the country end up in landfill,” says B-cycle CEO Libby Chaplin.

“Any used batteries not recycled properly and safely can leach toxic chemicals into our environment, or even cause fires in the home when stored. Additionally, despite being a source of valuable and finite resources, battery recycling has remained small-scale in Australia – until now!”

For the program to scale it needs to see a range of sectors getting involved as Ms.

B-cycle is pursuing new industry participants such as household battery importers, manufacturers, recyclers, and retailers to join the scheme.

Participating in this scheme aligns with the Federal Government’s Product Stewardship legislation and goals towards recycling and waste reduction obligations,

“We know the Federal Government is closely watching the participation of the Scheme and has expectations of high levels of industry membership at launch next year,” Ms Chaplin says.

“We look forward to working with, and welcoming, many new participants regardless of size or scale as it’s going to take many players all around the country to work collectively with us to create less waste and more opportunities for used batteries in Australia.”

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