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Target in sight for portable batteries

Provisional data from the Environment Agency has suggested the UK is close to meeting its battery collection obligations.

Figures indicated some 2,500 tonnes of batteries were collected in the last quarter of 2013, bringing the total for the year to over 12,100 tonnes.

However, some 10,500 tonnes have been accepted as Evidence Notes for 2013 so far,  bringing the collection rate to around 28.9%, slightly more than one percentage point away from a 30% target.

Robbie Staniforth, relationship team manager at compliance scheme Budget Pack said this was probably due to some administrative work that is still to be carried out.

“It appears that there are still some Evidence Notes that need to be accepted in order for the UK to meet the target,” he said.

“We are confident that when the final figures are released around the middle of the year, they will show the UK met the self-imposed target of 30% in 2013.”

As in the previous quarter, the majority of collected batteries were lead-acid, a disproportionally high proportion in comparison to the amount put onto the market.

Lead-acid batteries have traditionally taken a lion’s share of the collection rates given the higher value of their components.

The industry fears that a new definition of portable batteries that will exclude lead-acid from being eligible for evidence will impact on the UK’s ability to meet increasing EU targets for batteries.

Defra is expected to launch another consultation on the new definition in Spring 2014.

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