Smith Encourages Battery Recycling

02 February 2010
SNP MEP, Alyn Smith is encouraging Scots to recycle their batteries following a new Directive which came into force this week.


From 1 February 2010, retailers who supply 32kg or more a year of portable batteries in store (e.g. supermarket, newsagent, hardware store), over the internet, via mail-order or directly to businesses, will need to take back used batteries from the public free of charge.

Battery company, Varta have reported that the average UK household contains approximately 21 batteries; which if disposed of in general waste bins, end up in landfill, where they can leak harmful chemicals into the soil. However, under the new Directive you will now be able to recycle batteries anywhere you see the Be Positive sign.

Smith said:

"Under the Directive, the UK has new responsibilities on how batteries are recovered, treated and recycled and the Directive also requires that 25 per cent of waste batteries in the UK are recycled by 2012. The onus is not just on retailers, everyone has to consciously do their bit.

"Some household batteries contain chemicals like lead, mercury or cadmium. If batteries are thrown into your rubbish bin, they are likely to end up in landfill. Once buried, the batteries start to break down, and can leak some of these chemicals into the ground. This can cause soil and water pollution, which may be a health risk for humans.

"Recycling avoids this and can also help recover some of the raw materials used for making batteries and can save some of the planet's resources, by reducing the need to mine new materials. I urge all Scots to look for the positive sign in their local supermarket and beat the negative environmental effects of batteries."