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UK miles behind most other EU countries on Battery Recycling warns local MEP

November 4, 2009 6:00 PM
Originally published by Liz Lynne
Liz Lynne MEP supports Battery Collection Day in the European Parliament by handing over her used batteries for recycling.

Liz Lynne hands over her used batteries for recycling at Battery Collection Day in the European Parliament. Britain is way behind the European average in recycling batteries laden with heavy metals and polluting compounds.

Local Lib Dem MEP Liz Lynne handed in her used batteries for recycling as part of the 2009 Battery Collection Day in the European Parliament on Wednesday November 4th.

The campaign day came as recent figures show that battery recycling in the UK remains well below the European average. In the UK we recycle just 5% of our portable batteries, with 1,422 tonnes of batteries recycled from 30,000 tonnes sold.

This is despite EU Battery recycling legislation which has set portable household battery collection targets of 25 per cent by 2012 and at 45 per cent by 2016.

Most councils in the UK only offer battery recycling at a few central locations, doorstep collection is rare and recycling bins are hard to find.

Elsewhere in the European Union, the figures show that Austria , Belgium , France , Germany , Luxembourg , Sweden and the Netherlands have already exceeded the 25% target.

Speaking from Brussels Liz said today:

"Our record on battery recycling is shameful and this is due to a lack of initiatives from the Government. At present only 5% batteries of our batteries are recycled, compared to over 25% in other European Countries such as France and Germany. In Brussels, the home of the European Parliament, the recycling rate is over 59%"

"It is vital that recycling initiatives such as this are rolled out throughout the UK. The frustrating thing is we don't need to reinvent the wheel, all we have to do is copy the recycling operations successfully operating in a number of other EU countries for some years.

"The immediate priority must be to make sure that we collect as many batteries as possible and ensure they are safely recycled."


Note: Iron nickel and silver can all be recovered from recycled household batteries, which might otherwise contaminate soil and groundwater. Incineration of used batteries can release toxins and heavy metals into the atmosphere.