How do the Batteries regulations affect you?
The Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators Directive (Batteries Directive) were introduced to protect natural resources and manage waste batteries for the benefit of consumers and the environment.
The Batteries Directive is a ‘producer responsibility’ directive which means that producers of batteries are required to take financial responsibility for the environmental impact of the products that they place on the market, specifically when those products become waste.
In the UK, the Batteries Directive has been transposed into national law by The Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008 (as amended) and The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009, as amended.
What are Batteries and Accumulators?
A battery or accumulator is any source of electrical energy generated by direct conversion of chemical energy and consisting of either:
- one or more primary battery cells (non-rechargeable or disposable batteries)
- or one or more secondary battery cells (accumulators or rechargeable batteries)
What’s in scope?
Batteries are classified as industrial, automotive or portable batteries.
A portable battery or battery pack is:
- under 4 kilograms
- not an automotive or industrial battery
- not designed exclusively for industrial or professional use
Batteries familiar in shape and size to the ones you use at home are most likely portable. However, some regular-looking batteries may have unusual voltages because they have a specific industrial use.
An industrial battery or battery pack is a battery of any size or weight, with one of the following characteristics. It is:
- designed exclusively for industrial or professional uses
- used as a source of power for propulsion in an electric vehicle or a ‘hybrid’ vehicle
- unsealed but not an automotive battery
- sealed and not a portable battery
A battery is not industrial just because a professional person, like a service engineer, installs or removes it from a piece of equipment.
An automotive battery is a battery of any size or weight used for starting or to power ignition for a road vehicle engine, or to power lighting in a road vehicle.
More information on identifying the different types of batteries can be found here.