Battery collections for the second quarter of 2021 represent an encouraging indicator that the UK will hit its 45% collections target.
The Q2 results were published by the Environment Agency reveal that a total of 4,957 tonnes were collected between April and June.
With a current indicative annual collection target for the UK of 16,996 tonnes (calculated as 45% of the average annual amount of portable batteries placed on the market from 2019-2021), so far we are 58% towards this target with two quarters to go, including Christmas period when battery collections tend to rise.
To date total 2021 collections amount to 9,882 tonnes, whereas 17,996 tonnes of portable batteries have been placed on the market:
Glaring lead-acid disparity
Procurement Manager, Jonathan Stewart, commented "The latest figures clearly highlight that we are on course to meet the current UK recycling target. However, what is glaringly obvious is the ever-increasing volumes of lead-acid batteries being collected year on year."
"The disparity between placed on market tonnages compared to collected volumes again raises the question around classification between producers and battery recyclers. As always, we will continue working closely with both parties to obtain insight in order to help shape future reform."
As highlighted above, for many years a disproportionately large amount of lead-acid batteries were collected than reported as being placed on the market. For example, so far in 2021 524 tonnes were placed on the market with 7,573 tonnes reported as collected.
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.
The lack of certainty that comes with an indicative target based on in-year placed on market figures is also an issue that may well be tackled in the upcoming consultation. The ambiguity means compliance schemes do not know their actual obligation until the end of the year, in turn causing issues related to over or under evidencing.
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