Compliance specialist Ecosurety, Robbie Staniforth, policy manager at Ecosurety, commented on the figures, saying it is extremely disappointing the UK has for the second year running missed its battery recycling target.
“The small producer exemption, which has always existed, means no-one is responsible for recycling these batteries.
“Until this issue is resolved, the UK will continue to miss the targets set. There was a fairly even mix of household versus non-household batteries collected last year, which is a step in the right direction, however, these figures still mean that, overall, battery recycling in the UK is in decline, which is concerning.
“The small producer exemption, which has always existed, means no-one is responsible for recycling these batteries.”
“As a scheme, Ecosurety recycled more mixed household batteries than the average (49% compared with the industry average of 40%).
“This was mainly due to the #BringBackHeavyMetal campaign of 2017, which involved a number of high-profile partners and retailers. Consumer-facing campaigns to increase recycling can make a difference, and we are working to open up the campaign to more producers next year.
“However, as an industry, the question of what to do with small producer batteries is becoming acute and requires immediate remedial action from Defra. It is no longer cost effective for the bigger schemes to pick up this small, but vital shortfall.”
The EA figures report the amount of EEE placed on the market and WEEE collected in the UK.