Batteries

Most batteries contain heavy metals – a major cause of environmental concern.

If a battery is disposed of incorrectly, these heavy metals may leak into the ground when the battery casing corrodes, causing soil and water pollution and endangering wildlife and human health.

The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009 aim to reduce the impact on the environment of the manufacture, distribution, use, disposal and recovery of batteries. They transpose the waste battery provisions of the EU Directive on Batteries and Accumulators (2006/66/EC) as amended.

The regulations detail requirements for waste battery collection, treatment, recycling and disposal for all waste industrial, automotive and portable battery types and affect battery producers and distributors and waste battery collectors, recyclers and exporters. Separate regulations also ban the landfill or incineration of industrial and automotive batteries in Scotland.

  1. Battery producer registration
  2. Approved Battery Treatment Operators and Exporters
    1. a.Transfrontier shipment of waste
  3. Compliance schemes
    1. b. Effects on local authorities
  4. Public registers
  5. Contact us

1. Battery producer registration

The National Packaging Waste Database is the central point of reference for information, guidance and advice for all battery producers.

It contains detailed information and guidance on how to register, current regulations and producers’ obligations.

In addition, a current register of Approved Battery Producersis available through the National Packaging Waste Database.

2. Approved Battery Treatment Operators and Exporters

Waste portable, industrial and automotive batteries are required to be:

  • treated and recycled by an Approved Battery Treatment Operator (ABTO)
  • delivered to an ABTO, then treated and recycled by another facility on behalf of the ABTO
  • exported for treatment and/or recycling by an Approved Battery Exporter (ABE)

Treatment facilities in Scotland must apply to SEPA in order to operate as an ABTO or ABE.

Our comprehensive guidance details this process and advises operators how to apply.

Information is also available in Part 7 and Schedule 4 of the batteries regulations and on pages 50–56 of the guidance notes.

In addition, a current register of Approved Battery Treatment Operators and Exportersis available through the National Packaging Waste Database.

2a. Transfrontier shipment of waste

Any waste that is exported overseas for recovery must comply with EC Regulation 1013/2006 on shipments of waste and the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007.

Our page on transfrontier shipment of waste contains more information, but if you require any further guidance, please contact us.

3. Compliance schemes

We approve and monitor Battery Compliance Schemes (BCSs) based in Scotland.

The UK Batteries Regulations detail the requirements BCSs must meet. More information on these requirements is available in Part 6 and Schedule 3 of the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009 and from page 23 onwards of the Government Guidance Notes.

Please contact us for advice and guidance on how to apply to operate an approved BCS.

In addition, a current register of Approved Battery Compliance Schemes is available through the National Packaging Waste Database.

3a. Effects on local authorities

Local authorities do not have obligations under the UK batteries regulations. Some local authorities already collect batteries and others may wish to do so. Local authorities could be key partners for compliance schemes because of their collection infrastructure, expertise in waste collection and access to batteries in household waste.

Through the financing obligation placed on producers, a funding mechanism and contract would need to be in place to ensure local authorities are fully reimbursed by compliance schemes for the relevant additional expenditure on any batteries collection service for local residents.

For continuity, local authorities may wish to work with the same compliance scheme that they work with under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations. This will be possible, provided the scheme has also been approved under the Batteries Regulations.

Further information on the role of local authorities can be found on page 41 of the Government Guidance Notes.

4. Public registers

The public registers of obligated Producers, registered Batteries Compliance Schemes and Approved Batteries Treatment Operators and Approved Batteries Exporters can all be found on the National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD).

You do not need a login to the NPWD – simply choose the appropriate link on the ‘Public Registers’ menu, enter the desired search criteria, then ‘Generate Report’.

5. Contact us

If you encounter any problems with any of the online systems, or if you require any more information about battery regulations or compliance, please contact us.