Battery waste is a growing problem in Australia; in 2014 it was estimated that Australia was generating 17,500 tonnes of waste in batteries, or 700 million batteries based on an equivalent battery unit. 97% of all batteries were being inappropriately disposed of in landfill and impacting on the environment.
It is proposed that an industry-led stewardship scheme be established to enable responsible management of all types of used batteries (excluding automotive acid batteries). The intention is to bring battery supply chain companies together to significantly reduce the volume of batteries going as waste to landfill by increasing collection and recycling rates and developing a domestic battery reprocessing capacity. The objectives of the scheme include:
- increase resource recovery and recycling and minimise the environmental, health and safety impacts of end-of-life batteries in Australia;
- achieve a net benefit for the broader recycling system by removing a potentially significant contaminant;
- ensure that the whole supply chain participates in the stewardship of batteries in the Australian market;
- develop an efficient and innovative domestic battery recycling industry;
- create new job opportunities, including jobs with social outcomes
- foster a circular economy where batteries are recovered for recycling and reused to make batteries or other products.
Read more about the Proposed Stewardship Scheme for Batteries (Nov 2019) on the Battery Stewardship Council website.
Consumers’ Federations of Australia has a representative on the Standards Australia Technical Committee EL-042 Renewable energy power supply systems which is developing standards on battery storage systems. Find out about the CFA Standards Project and how you can get involved in representing the consumer viewpoint in the development of standards by contacting email@example.com.