E-scooters increasing danger of battery fires, BMRA says


A new Government-led campaign is urgently needed to highlight the rising number of fires being caused by exploding lithium-ion batteries, the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) says, arguing the problem has “been ignored for too long”.

The warning comes after new figures revealed exploding batteries in e-scooters and e-bikes were responsible for 167 fires in the UK last year (2022).

CEO of the BMRA, James Kelly, commented: “These figures underline the need, once again, for more education and communication about the dangers of lithium-ion batteries found in rechargeable items, including e-bikes and e-scooters.

“This is a growing problem, which is putting the safety of members of the public, and those working right across the recycling sector at risk.

“For too long it has been ignored, which is why the BMRA is now calling for a Government supported campaign to better inform the public of the hazards both for safe use and disposal of lithium-ion batteries.”

These figures underline the need, once again, for more education and communication.

In December, the BMRA said new rules were “urgently required” to prevent households from throwing unwanted electrical equipment out with the general waste following Christmas.

The British Metal Recycling Association (BMRA) also says local authorities should carry out kerbside collections.

Kelly added: “Councils need to introduce kerbside collections for discarded WEEE items. That is because we are seeing increased fires happening in bin lorries and at household waste recycling centres as well as metal recycling sites like those of our members where these items can end up in the incorrect waste stream. People’s lives are at risk.”

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