Industry associations have joined together to advance the environmentally-responsible production and recycling of lead batteries around the world.
The International Lead Association, Battery Council International, European battery association EUROBAT and the Association of Battery Recyclers have signed a binding memorandum of cooperation to improve global health, safety and environmental performance in the supply chain of lead acid batteries.
The initiative aims to boost ongoing efforts to improve battery recycling in developing countries, where regulations and industry safety standards are often “inadequate, non-existent or ineffectively enforced”.
The organisations involved note it is important to solve these issues before spiking global battery demand potentially leads to an increase in poor recycling measures – as global energy storage demand is set to increase 13-fold by 2024, poor recycling measures still being carried out by this time could have far-reaching environmental consequences.
They plan to promote responsible sourcing of materials, prevent recyclers who fail to ensure public health and the environment are protected from sending material to the market, encourage continuous improvement in the environmental and safety performance of businesses and work towards a system of market-driven battery collection at the end-of life stage.
The groups also aim to share best practice, provide support to improve health and environmental standards in low and middle-income countries and enhance transparency by reporting progress to interested stakeholders.
Battery Council International Executive Vice President Kevin Moran said: “We want to ensure that manufacturing and recycling of lead batteries worldwide meet standards that protect human health and the environment.
“There must be an end to the dangerous and inappropriate use of substandard recycling operations but this will take time and will require a coordinated effort involving multiple stakeholders.”