EU Battery Directive

The Battery Directive (directive on the return and disposal of used bat- teries and accumulators – BattV) came into effect in 1998. It has since been regularly revised to incorporate the new EU environmental regula- tions. Amendments have included a ban on the marketing of batteries exceeding the de ned mercury, cadmium or lead content limits.

Batteries and accumulators may not be disposed of in the household waste, regardless of their electrochemical system or toxic material (heavy metal) content. Spent batteries and accumulators either must be returned to an outlet where batteries or accumulators are sold, or taken to a municipal collection point. Both retail and local governments have an (unpaid) obligation to take back batteries, regardless of brand or battery system. Manufacturers and importers of batteries in their turn are required to provide retail and municipalities with suitable collection containers and to take back the collected portable batteries at no cost.

Batteries do not belong in household waste

To ensure that the returns requirement is comprehensive, the Battery Directive offers manufacturers and importers two options. Either they install their own collection system for their batteries or they join a com- mon collection system.