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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Battery regulations loom for retailers

Sunday February 7 2010

From today, Monday 1 February 2010, retailers must comply with the new battery regulations

From today, Monday 1 February 2010, retailers must comply with the new battery regulations


Any retailer or producer that sells more than 32kg of portable batteries a year (the equivalent of one four pack of AA batteries a day), must provide a free take-back service for waste portable batteries and inform customers about the service.


In the end six battery producer schemes were approved by the Environment Agency to operate in the UK on behalf of producers for the next three years. BatteryBack is one of the biggest schemes and provides a free to use battery recycling service for all battery retailers and any other organisation wishing to help recycle batteries.


The company has supplied retailers including Argos, Asda, Boots, Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose with specially designed BatteryCans. These collection canisters come in various sizes, can be branded to suit the retailer, and are ideal for safely transporting the used batteries.


Scheme supplier ramps up service


Peter Hunt, chief executive of BatteryBack said: "As far as we are aware only one other scheme is supplying a recycling vessel to retailers, and this is in the form of a cardboard box which cannot be used to transport the batteries. The BatteryCans that we use are robust and offer minimal disruption to the retailer as they do not have to be decanted before transportation."


BatteryBack already has over 10,000 battery collection points across the UK at civic amenity sites, schools, supermarkets and other retailers. Hunt added: "The number of collection points is growing daily and we aim to have 30,000 sites by the end of 2010. We need to make it as easy as possible for the public to recycle their used batteries if we are going to meet the targets set by the European Union, so the more recycling points that are available the better."


The UK currently recycles barely 2.8% of its batteries. The regulations demand this increases to 25% by 2012 and 45% by 2016.


It is thought that many smaller battery retailers haven't claimed a BatteryCan, simply because they are unaware of the new regulations. Failure to comply could lead to an investigation from the Environment Agency resulting in fines and further enforcement.