Did you know that for each battery, 95 per cent of its material can be recycled?
Battery recycling facilities can recover iron and nickel to make steel; zinc as a product additive in plastics and ceramics; cadmium to make new batteries; and cobalt, nickel, and copper for re-use. However, despite being a valuable resource, 90 per cent of Australia’s handheld batteries still end up in landfills.
In the hope of increasing consumer and retailer participation in recycling batteries, Australia’s Battery Stewardship Council (BSC) has launched the B-cycle scheme. The new program will actively pursue new participants such as manufacturers, household battery importers, recyclers, and retailers to join the initiative before its official launch next year.
Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction Trevor Evans said that the BSC is among the first organisations to develop a voluntary product stewardship scheme under the government’s $26 million product stewardship investment fund.
“As waste batteries, especially those used in small handheld devices, are one of the fastest-growing waste streams, this industry-led scheme will play an essential role in significantly increasing Australia’s battery collections and recycling and help our circular economy grow,” said Evans.
“But it will only work if industry plays its part. We must all work together toward Australian consumers soon being able to safely and responsibly manage all types of used batteries at their end-of-life”, said Assistant Minister Evans.
Libby Chaplin, CEO of B-cycle, said that the organisation’s process provides robust traceability, and collected batteries are recycled in an environmentally safe way back into closed-loop systems.
“We look forward to working with, and welcoming, many new participants regardless of size or scale as it’s going to take many players all around the country to work collectively with us to create less waste and more opportunities for used batteries in Australia,” Chaplin concluded.
The B-cycle scheme will be fully operational by January next year, with a network of drop-off locations in retail spaces.
Participants who already signed up for the B-cycle scheme include Bunnings, Canon, Coles, Duracell, Ecobatt, Energizer, Envirostream, Hilti, Honda, Panasonic, Milwaukee, and Woolworths.