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2020 battery collections exceed indicative target

The amount of portable batteries collected in 2020 looks set to exceed the indicative target of 17,437 tonnes.

A total of 17,728 tonnes of collected waste portable batteries have been reported by producer compliance schemes, just over the indicative target Defra has stated will be around 17,437 tonnes.

It should be noted that not all evidence has yet been accepted and the target is to be confirmed, with compliance schemes having until 31 May to obtain evidence to meet their members' obligations for the 2020 compliance period. Final confirmation should be released by the Environment Agency in June. 

Portable batteries placed on market in 2020



Portable batteries collected in 2020

2020 batteries collected


The collection rate is calculated by battery evidence notes, supplied by schemes, and can be issued by approved treatment operators or exporters only. Defra state that 40,853 tonnes of portable batteries were placed on the UK market in 2020, but the average data from 2018-2020 was 38,750, indicating a rise in battery sales last year. Portable battery collection and treatment is traditionally higher in Q4 than in other quarters.

As expected, Q4 was mostly a stronger quarter for collections than previous ones with only a small fall in lead-acid types from Q3.

Remarkable volume of lead-acid

As noted in a previous article, a remarkable volume of portable lead-acid types were collected in the latter half of last year. In Q3 this was 3,537 tonnes – the largest quarterly collection since the regulations began – and Q4 was only marginally lower at 3,512. This is coupled with a comparatively low placed on market figure for this chemistry at only 416 tonnes, a disparity that is seen year on year.

The consultation on reforming UK battery legislation is scheduled for the last quarter of this year, and a top priority will be addressing the over-evidencing of lead-acid types, amongst other reporting anomalies.

It will also be discussed whether the UK should follow the EU lead with their proposed battery reforms, which includes increasing the collection target to 65%.

Find out more about future batteries EPR legislation changes.


Louisa Goodfellow

Policy advisor

As Policy advisor Louisa provides key support to our team, including preparing reports on environmental policy issues and maintaining awareness of new developments. As such she will often be found coordinating responses to policy consultations, advocating policy positions and providing internal guidance to current legislation.


Written by Louisa Goodfellow Published 10/03/2021 Topics Batteries

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