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Survey finds low public awareness of battery recycling

Almost 50% of people have never recycled a household battery, with almost a third saying they did not know they could be recycled, a survey has found.

Carried out by YouGov on behalf of battery compliance scheme ERP, the survey found there was low public awareness of battery recycling.

Around 42% of people have recycled a household battery before, while 49% have not. Most people surveyed (45%) said they did not know where to take the batteries, despite the many collection points now available at retailers, libraries, offices and schools, while 30% of people had no idea they could be recycled.

Those who did recycle batteries said the top places to recycle their batteries were in shops (42%) and civic amenity sites (41%). However, 78% of people did not know that shops selling batteries must collect them for recycling in store.

Of the total amount of batteries sold in a year, 40% are bought over the Christmas period, this is equivalent to around ten batteries per person. ERP is concerned that many of these batteries will be binned rather than recycled after use.

General manager Scott Butler said: “Loads of batteries are bought at Christmas. We want people to make their new year a bit greener by recycling them instead of throwing them in the bin. We’re going to need everyone’s help if the UK is to meet its challenging target of recycling a quarter of all batteries by 2012.”

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