At the end of September the UK Government released regulations to implement part of the EU Batteries Directive. The regulations introduce restrictions on using mercury and cadmium in batteries and introduce labelling and design requirements for batteries coming onto the market after 26 September.

At present, the Government has not appointed a regulatory body to oversee compliance with these regulations; and neither the regulations, nor the guidance which accompanies them, prescribe a method a method by which producers can demonstrate compliance.

More significant than this however, is the parts of the Batteries Directive which the Government has yet to implement at all. These deal with the collection, treatment and recycling of waste batteries and are, self evidently the critical part of the Directive.

The Government has stated that it is aiming to consult on draft regulations to implement these parts of the Directive soon, but it is doubtful if this will happen before spring of next year. In the meantime, moves towards the better recycling of batteries will remain voluntary – for example the Battery Back scheme launched by WEEE Care.

Click here for EU Batteries Directive.