December 2, 2021

FEAD position on the draft opinion and amendments of the IMCO Committee on the proposal for a regulation concerning batteries and waste batteries

Brussels, 02 December 2021 – The European Parliament Committee on ‘the Internal Market and Consumer Protection’ published the draft opinion and related amendments on the proposal for a regulation concerning batteries and waste batteries, repealing Directive 2006/66/EC and amending Regulation (EU) No 2019/1020. FEAD welcomes the draft opinion of IMCO and wishes to express its views on some important points.

Mandatory recycled content: We are not in line with the amendments proposed by some members of the European Parliament, asking for deleting the minimum targets for mandatory recycled content proposed in Article 8, paragraph 2 & 3 of the Regulation. FEAD reiterates the importance of the Commission’s proposed targets for mandatory recycled content as a crucial measure to stimulate the uptake of recyclates and trigger higher investments in recycling facilities.

Collection targets: They should be increased to at least 80 percent across the EU in order to achieve the return of the battery systems to recycling. 

Deposit refund schemes (DRS): High collection targets go hand in hand with mandatory return schemes particularly when dealing with important material flows such as batteries. This is crucial not only to achieve a high collection rate, but also to guarantee safe collection and treatment conditions for all battery-operated devices. Incorrectly disposed lithium batteries and accumulators pose a high risk of fire incidents everywhere, and not only in waste batteries installations. When this arises, sorting systems for lightweight packaging, paper-collection, commercial waste processing, etc. can be considerably damaged by fires, and workers and other people from the wider community can be put under great risk. As a result, the purpose of making batteries more circular is weakened because processing and treatment facilities are so damaged, sometimes beyond repair, that they reduce the overall capacity to recycle waste. Therefore, the introduction of a mandatory DRS is essential for the effective management of critical battery flows, and to the security of systems treating any other waste but batteries. We particularly support the amendments (85, 528, 529) concerning the establishment of a deposit refund scheme, that would divert batteries and accumulators away from a wide variety of other waste.

This point is central for the circular economy, as the success of this ambitious recycling policy will depend on the safe collection of high tonnages of waste batteries, allowing pertinent and increased resource conservation.

FEAD will continue to follow closely the legislative process on the revision of the batteries Directive (2006/66/EC).