Backing for action to end ‘informal and inappropriate’ battery recycling
ILA director Dr Steve Binks, the co-ordinator of the lead battery industry’s material stewardship program*, has backed recommendations in the World Economic Forum’s Creating an Environmentally Conscious Life Cycle for Lead Batteries report.
Commenting on its publication he said: “This report highlights the importance of safe and environmentally responsible management of lead-battery recycling that is necessary for any country to obtain the full benefit of a product that is seen as a gold standard for circular economy principles in Europe and North America. No other battery technology comes close to the standard set by lead where on average up to 80% of a new battery is manufactured from raw materials originating from used batteries.
“As an industry we have invested significantly in environmental and workplace health and safety controls and want to see an end to the informal and inappropriate practices in lead battery recycling seen in some low-and-middle income countries. The eleven key recommendations for policy makers, highlighted in the WEF report, provide an excellent framework for improving lead battery recycling practices in these regions by eliminating the risks presented by informal and sub-standard operators.”
Dr Binks added: “The international guidance on environmentally sound recycling set out in the Basel Convention is the benchmark for all countries to follow. Through our global material stewardship program, trade association member companies are committed to promoting the sound management of lead exposures and emissions by setting continuous improvement targets and sharing best practices. They have also made a commitment to ensure that inappropriately recycled lead does not enter their supply chains. We will continue to work with partners including the World Economic Forum, Pure Earth and UNICEF to help eradicate dangerous informal battery recycling practices. Governments must also play their part by adopting legislation and enforcing standards that ensure the safe manufacture and recycling of lead batteries”
*The material stewardship program is a joint initiative supported by member companies of: the International Lead Association; EUROBAT; Battery Council International; and the Association of Battery Recyclers.