ALDE call for new limits on hazardous substances in batteries

eurMembers of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee approved today a report on the Commission’s legislative proposal amending the Directive on batteries and accumulators containing hazardous substances.
The Batteries Directive focuses on minimising the negative impacts of batteries and accumulators on the environment and also introducing measures for more transparency in the internal market.
The key objective of the report is to prohibit the placing on the market of most batteries and accumulators, including those incorporated into appliances, that contain more than 0,002% of cadmium by weight.
ALDE MEP Vladko Panayotov (MRF, Bulgaria) suggests extending the scope of the Commission proposal to include a ban on button cells containing more than 0,005% of mercury by weight thus removing an already outdated exemption.
The report aims at raising levels of collection, recycling, treatment and disposal of waste of batteries and accumulators. There are also minimum rules for producer responsibility and provision with regard to labeling and their removal from appliances.
The draft report proposed the current exemption for cadmium containing batteries to be extended by one year, in order to allow economic actors (producers of portable rechargeable batteries, cordless power tool producers and recycling companies) to further adapt their technological developments and relevant substitute technologies, and highlight to all parties the date of the ban’s entry into force.
“I am confident that these measures will improve existing legislation by closing existing loopholes due to different interpretations of the definitions and that they will enable a smoother and less costly transition for all stakeholders along the value-chain by providing some additional time for technological developments and innovations in the field of recycling of batteries and simultaneously ensuring the protection of the environment and human health.
“The extension of the scope of the directive to mercury is also a very significant step to decrease pollution and environmental damage as fast as possible”, concluded MEP Panayotov.