March 22, 2021

FEAD event – Batteries’ recycling: energising the EU green transition

Brussels, 22 March 2021 In relation to the European Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on Batteries and Waste Batteries, FEAD, the European Waste Management Association, held today a successful online debate to allow a valuable exchange of views among the legislators and the industry.

The debate, initiated by FEAD President – Peter Kurth, was joined by Hartmut Stahl, Senior Researcher – Oeko Institut, Jose Rizo Martin – Senior Expert at the European Commission, MEP Maria Spyraki – EPP Shadow Rapporteur for ITRE opinion on the new Sustainable Batteries’ Framework, Ralf MITTERMAYR – CEO, Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG, Alessandro Danesi – Commerical Director -S.E.VAL Group, Janne Koivisto – Public Affairs Manager – Fortum, and Valerie Plainemaison, FEAD’s Secretary-General.

The discussion was facilitated by moderator Claire Doole, and revolved around the following key issues in relation to the Batteries’ and Waste Batteries’ Regulation:

•    More ambitious collection targets; to achieve the correct handling and disposal of batteries, higher collection targets of up to 80% for all types of batteries are needed, except for automotive batteries for which collection targets of 100% should apply.

•    Mandatory recycled content; the circular economy requires a strong demand for recyclates, and in this regard mandatory recycled content is crucial. FEAD calls that all types of batteries, not only portable batteries, include higher levels of recycled content during the production of new batteries.

•    Need for appropriate and rapid implementation tools; FEAD calls for an early determination of the methodology to be used in the calculation and verification of recycled content, and a performant data gathering for the calculation and verification of recycling efficiencies, and for the recovery of materials.

In conclusion, panellists agreed that having a strong battery value chain is of strategic value and importance for Europe, as well as for the waste management industry. Recycling in a safe manner is an important activity in this value chain, from an economic and resource point of view.

FEAD President – Peter Kurth stressed that: “The right framework conditions are needed for a functioning circular economy in the battery sector at European level so that it can develop its full potential. This includes practice-oriented targets for efficiency quotas, ambitious minimum input quotas for recycling raw materials for batteries, and ambitious collection targets coupled with a practical deposit system for batteries. If the framework conditions are right, battery recycling can be a key project for Europe in the transition to a true circular economy.”

FEAD warmly thanks the panellists for their participation and collaboration and welcomes the large interest expressed by attendees across Europe.

FEAD Secretariat