UK narrowly misses 2020 battery target
5th July 2021 | Recycling
The UK narrowly missed the waste portable battery recycling target for 2020, though it has been suggested this could be down to an “administrative error”. Figures published late last month by the Environment Agency on the National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD) indicate that the UK’s portable battery compliance schemes collected a total of 17,728 tonnes of batteries for the year.
The target for collection in 2020 was 17,443 tonnes, representing 45% of the average annual volume of batteries placed on the market by producers in the preceding three years. While the UK exceeded the target volume, just 17,399 tonnes of waste portable batteries evidence notes were accepted for 2020.
Clement Gaubert, head of operations at compliance scheme Ecosurety, told letsrecycle.com: “After marginally meeting its 45% collection target in 2018 and 2019 the UK narrowly missed the target in 2020 (44.89%). However, it is worth noting that the volume of waste portable batteries collected in 2020 was above the 45% collection target. Unfortunately, the final volume of portable batteries evidence notes accepted in 2020 was not sufficient to meet the 45% collection target. Interestingly, the indicative data published in March suggested the UK would meet the target.”
Mr Gaubert noted the data showed a continuation of several of the trends from the past few years. He said: “The collection figures reported in 2020 confirm two major trends observed for several years now: the stagnation of collections and the overreliance on lead-acid battery evidence, which represented 65% of waste portable batteries reported in 2020.”
Of the 40,866 tonnes of portable batteries placed on the market in 2020, 1,367 were lead acid, 307 were nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd) and 39,191 were ‘other’. In terms of the 17,728 tonnes of waste portable batteries collected by compliance schemes, a staggering 11,471 were lead acid, while just 535 tonnes were Ni-Cd and 5,723 were other. Concerns remain that the high number of lead acid batteries in the figures masks the fact not enough portable household batteries were collected.
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