A new environmental directive from the European Union arrived last month when the European Council formally issued a draft battery directive. The political agreement behind the directive was completed last December. The new rule bans cadmium in batteries, with some exclusions. The directive also includes disposal requirements. The directive is expected to be adopted in mid 2006. Once its adopted, companies will have 24 months to comply.
Key requirements of the agreed draft directive include:
A partial ban on portable nickel-cadmium batteries that excludes batteries used in medical equipment, emergency lighting and alarm systems, and cordless power tools. However, the exemption for power tools is subject to review after four years.
Collection targets for spent portable batteries of 25 percent of average annual sales four years after the directive is implemented in the UK, rising to 45 percent after eight years.
Bans the disposal of untreated automotive and industrial batteries in landfill or by incineration.
Member states will have 24 months to implement the directive once it has been agreed.