Waste battery collection company G&P Batteries fears that the UK is not on track to meet its Batteries Directive target because of the Governments response to the consultation document on its implementation.
Under the directive the UK must collect 25% of waste portable batteries by 2012. But G&P has expressed concerns over some of the aspects of the Governments latest published views on the terms of the directive.
Managing director Michael Green said: The Government response admits the implementation of compliance schemes, and thus the starting point for collecting batteries, will be later than the deadline of September 2008 set by Europe. No date has yet been given as to when the compliance scheme process will be finalised, nor when interim targets will be applied. From where we are now it seems that at best portable battery collection activity will not get underway until well into 2009.
Green also expressed worries about the Governments plans to adopt multiple compliance scheme systems and said that the approach will be slower to get collections underway than a single scheme approach.
He added: It is not clear how the very necessary national publicity campaign will be co-ordinated across the various compliance schemes that eventually are approved. G&P has a serious concern that the campaign may get underway too late to be fully effective, and may be fragmented and un-coordinated.
A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokeswoman said: "We do think we can meet this target, and the Government is doing all it can to make that happen. But the target is tough and succeeding will depend on compliance schemes setting up efficient infrastructure for collecting, treating and recycling batteries. Our part is making sure selection criteria for schemes is suitably robust and working closely with those who will need to comply."