Small businesses that make, import or sell batteries and battery-operated equipment from torches to toys are being urged by the Environment Agency to make sure they comply with the Battery Regulations.
The regulations aim to reduce the environmental impact of batteries.
Businesses are classed as a battery producer under the regulations if they put batteries on the UK market for the first time. For instance, a firm that imports portable batteries from Belgium and places this on the UK market for the first time will have to comply with the regulations.
EA batteries project manager Bob Mead told MRW that firms that import non-electrical appliances such as musical ties or teddy bears and place those items on the UK market for the first time will have to comply with the Battery Regulations.
He said the EA was doing its best to inform small businesses about the new regulations and had worked closely with industry, trade associations, the waste management industry and trade media. Guidance and updates for business have been published on the EAs and Netregs websites.
By now any business that placed batteries for the first time on the UK market in 2009 should have registered as a battery producer and the first deadline for submitting batteries data for 2009 is 31 January 2010.
Mead said: Large producers, which account for some 98 per cent of the battery market, have responded well to calls to prepare for the new regulations but many small producers have yet to register.
Ensuring that portable batteries are correctly disposed of and their component parts, such as their metal casings, are re-used is good news for the environment. But, looking after the environment is a shared responsibility and we need all types of businesses to get involved.
My message to all those who manufacture, import or sell batteries, or products containing batteries, is to check if you are producer. If you are, it is your responsibility to register as a matter of urgency. It is easy to register and supply your information online so you comply with the regulations.
For more information see www.environment-agency.gov.uk/batteries