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More accurate recycling as Defra announces change to the batteries regulations

Yesterday, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced a change to the classification of portable batteries, which will improve reporting accuracy.

The announcement comes as a result of a consultation process that was first run in 2013 and repeated at the beginning of this year. Following industry feedback, Defra has taken the decision to reduce the maximum weight of a portable battery to 4kg. This means that any battery over 4kg will be deemed as automotive or industrial.

Battery classification grey area

The decision addresses a “grey area” that exists when classifying batteries that weigh between four and 10kg.

This centres around the the disparity between the chemistry of batteries being placed onto the market and those being recycled. As battery recyclers are often unaware of a battery’s intended use, it has previously been difficult to determine whether they should be classed as industrial or portable.

Using a weight threshold is the easiest way to ensure that industrial batteries are not classified as portable when recycled. This change will help to ensure that batteries are classified the same by both producers (when sold) and recyclers (when recycled).

Reducing uncertainty

David Burton, policy director at ecosurety, commented “The removal of the grey-area helps to reduce uncertainty in classifying batteries. Having established over 7,000 collection points, we’re keen to encourage greater public engagement to ensure that less batteries end up in landfill. We have also strategically positioned ourselves by pre-empting and preparing for the effects of this change in the interest of our members.”

To find out more about how this change may affect you, simply contact our team on 0845 094 2228.


Robbie Staniforth

Innovation and policy director

Robbie is innovation and policy director at Ecosurety. Having spent years building an intimate understanding of the industry’s policies and politics, he uses this knowledge to help shape new legislation and oversees Ecosurety’s growing portfolio of cross-industry innovation projects including Podback and the Flexible Plastic Fund. He has worked closely with Defra during the most recent packaging consultations, outlining the impacts and required transitional arrangements of the UK’s new EPR system and is a member of the government’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP). He is also a spokesperson for the company and regularly uses his influence to communicate the importance of environmental responsibility to external stakeholders.


Written by Robbie Staniforth Published 20/08/2015 Topics Compliance

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