11th February 2011
MEP visits G & P on fact-finding mission
MEP Julie Girling has visited the UK’s leading waste battery collection and recycling company, G & P Batteries, to learn more about how waste batteries are handled in the UK.
Julie, MEP for South West of England, Isles of Scilly and Gibraltar, is a member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee at the European Parliament and takes a special interest in waste and recycling issues in the UK.
She was given a tour of G & P’s comprehensive sorting and recycling facilities at Darlaston in the West Midlands by Managing Director Michael Green. He also explained how the UK was performing one year on from the introduction of the UK Waste Battery Regulations, which are the UK’s legal interpretation of the European Batteries Directive. Although official figures are yet to be published, it is widely believed that the UK will have met its 2010 target of collecting 10% of portable waste batteries produced. The first enforceable European target occurs in 2012, when the UK has to recycle 25% of portable waste batteries. The UK has introduced interim targets for each year between 2010 and 2016.
The two also discussed the importance of raising public awareness about waste battery recycling. Said Julie: “It has been very useful to see the facility at G & P and gain an insight of the issues involved. It is particularly important that the public has a better understanding of the essential environmental benefits of waste battery recycling.
“It is also crucial for all connected with recycling waste batteries and battery powered appliances that there is a better understanding of issues concerning the treatment of this hazardous waste, especially in relation to safety and cost.”
Added Michael Green: “We were pleased to welcome Julie to our site and welcomed the opportunity to discuss matters including recycling efficiency targets, public awareness and handling of hazardous waste with her. We hope this will provide useful background for her work in the European Parliament.”