Center Notifies New Battery Waste Management Standards

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on Thursday notified new standards for battery waste management which it says will help better ensure the adoption of environmentally sound management of used batteries.

The standards also prescribe the use of a certain amount of recycled materials in the manufacture of new batteries in order to reduce the dependence on new raw materials.

Notified on Wednesday, the Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022 will replace the Battery (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001, the government announced on Thursday.

According to the ministry’s statement, the rules cover all types of batteries – electric vehicle batteries, portable batteries, automotive batteries and industrial batteries.

The ministry pointed out that the rules are based on the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) where producers (including importers) of batteries are responsible for the collection and recycling/refurbishment of used batteries and the use of materials recovered from waste in new batteries. The EPR requires that all used batteries be collected and sent for recycling/refurbishment, and it prohibits disposal in landfills and incineration.

To meet EPR obligations, producers can contract or authorize any other entity for the collection, recycling or refurbishment of used batteries. The rules will establish a mechanism and a centralized online portal for the exchange of EPR certificates between producers and recyclers/reconditioners to fulfill producers’ obligations, the ministry added.

The new rules encourage the creation of new industries and entrepreneurship in the collection and recycling/refurbishment of used batteries, which will contribute to the introduction of new technologies and investments in the sector.

On the principle of the polluter pays principle, environmental compensation will be imposed in the event of non-compliance with the objectives, responsibilities and obligations of the EPR defined in the rules. Funds collected as environmental compensation must be used for the collection and refurbishment or recycling of uncollected and unrecycled used batteries. Online recording and reporting, auditing and a committee to monitor the implementation of the rules and take necessary action to eliminate difficulties are the main features of the rules to ensure effective implementation and compliance , the ministry continued.

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