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National system needed for battery directive

With the battery directive due to come into effect in 2008, a global environmental consultant has warned that the UK needs to put a national system in place.

WSP Environmental senior consultant Karine Delleau said: If the UK wants to be serious [about meeting its targets] it needs to start having discussions on a national battery collection.

Based in France, Delleau said French retailers already had collection points in stores for the collection of batteries. But municipalities, the French equivalent of local authorities, did not generally offer kerbside battery collections.

In France the trend is towards asking consumers to drop their waste at collection sites, she explained.

Working particularly with players in the IT sector, Delleau said there were various levels of awareness of the battery directive. She said that in France there was a semi-public entity which supervised the take back schemes, with two schemes running in the country.

In the UK the system is not generalised, she said, and added that with an organisation supervising the schemes in France, they had harder enforcement there.

The UK is required to attain a 25% collection rate for portable household batteries by 2012 and 45% by 2016.

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