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Defra launches battery consultation to reduce waste

Reducing the 700 million batteries sent to landfill and increasing battery recycling are two of the aims of a consultation launched by the Government today. Views are sought to find the best ways to implement the EU Batteries and Accumulators Directive in the UK, which comes into force on September 26 2008. The proposals look at improving the environmental performance of new batteries and ensuring collection, treatment and recycling of more waste batteries. The consultation will end on March 12 2008. Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said: Christmas gifts opened in British household next week will contain millions of batteries. Many of these will contribute to the 700 million batteries that go to landfill each year. This is clearly not good for the environment and thats why weve signed up to these tough, but I believe achievable, targets. Environment Minister Joan Ruddock added: By throwing household batteries in the bin not only are we contributing to whats sent to landfill, we are throwing away potential resources that could be put to good use if they were recycled. If disposed of incorrectly, even household batteries can pose an environmental risk. I would encourage producers and consumers to respond to our consultation. Proposed targets include: collection of 25% of sales of household batteries by 2012, rising to 45% by 2016; prohibition of high cadmium products and continued restrictions on mercury use; clearer labelling; producer responsibility schemes; a ban on landfilling industrial and automotive batteries; retailer take-back schemes free to the consumer; and easier battery removal from products to ensure treatment and recycling. For more information visit: http://www.berr.gov.uk/innovation/sustainability/batteries/page30610.html

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