Media - News Archive
6th July 2008
Government response puts UK on track to miss Batteries Directive targets, fears G & P
The UK’s leading waste battery collection company has expressed disappointment at some aspects of the Government response to the consultation document on the implementation of the Batteries Directive in the UK. G & P Batteries fears that the UK will miss the 25% target for collection of portable batteries due to be achieved by September 2012.
G&P’s concerns come from the following aspects of the Government’s latest published views on how and when they intend to implement the terms of the Directive.
- The Government response admits the implementation of compliance schemes and thus the starting point for collecting batteries will be later than the deadline of September 2008 set by Europe. No date has yet been given as to when the compliance scheme process will be finalised, nor whether or when interim targets will be applied. From where we are now it seems that at best portable battery collection activity will not get underway until well into 2009.
- The multiple compliance scheme approach, whilst being good for ensuring competition and low costs, will be slower to get collections under way than a single scheme approach.
- The Government has said that the approval process for Battery Compliance Schemes will be much more rigorous, and therefore considerably longer than that for WEEE schemes – the Environment Agency have indicated the process could take several months.
- It is not clear how the very necessary national publicity campaign will be co-ordinated across the various compliance schemes that eventually are approved. G&P has a serious concern that the campaign may get underway too late to be fully effective, and may be fragmented and un-coordinated.
- Small retailers will have an exemption from the requirement to take batteries back for recycling. This has been done to try to maintain maximum cost-effectiveness for the compliance schemes, but G&P is concerned that this will substantially reduce the number of available collection points, thus restricting the volume of batteries collected.
Whilst we understand and agree with the need for cost-effectiveness and competition, we are concerned that focussing too much on minimising costs will backfire, and add to the likelihood of the collection targets being missed.