The EU has shown that by just having requirements as simple as preventing manufacturers from refusing to take back waste batteries, used handheld batteries see a much higher recycling rate. The EU Battery Directive also calls for member states to provide easily accessible used battery collection sites that operate free of charge to the public. Moreover, by having fixed recycling percentages that need to be achieved, the EU has ensured that there is some degree of greater need and urgency in the matter of recycling because the number of used handheld batteries is only escalating on a yearly basis. And by having no resolute drive to counter this reality, used household batteries could one day in the near future become a real menace to the environment if incineration or landfill dumping is the only option left in store for them.
With this very sentiment in mind, a group of progressive battery manufacturers, retailers, distributors, recyclers, environmental and government bodies united together in 2008 and created the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI). The goal of this not-for-profit association is to promote environmentally friendly disposal standards for all used batteries. ABRI is also a strong advocate for the establishment of a National Product Stewardship Scheme. Product Stewardship is a concept which has been the cornerstone for the success of the EU’s used battery recycling directives. By this principle, battery manufacturers should be held accountable for the efficient disposal and recovery of used batteries and are also responsible in providing the consumers means for convenient used battery disposal.
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