Environment: Joint industry statement on the impact of restricting primary batteries in Europe

Published: 15 September 2020

Policies & Issues: Environment

Orgalim together with 13 trade associations consider the envisaged phase out of primary batteries incompatible with Europe’s goal for a carbon neutral economy. The signatory parties support the European Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan, and are committed to provide European consumers with truly sustainable solutions – based on proven positive impacts on both the environment and the European economy. Primary batteries have a vital role to play in a number of different battery applications and complement an increasing area of use of rechargeable batteries.

Primary batteries, today, provide growing levels of power while being smaller and using less materials than previous generation’s batteries. Since 2006, the environmental impact of primary batteries has even further decreased by implementing the collection obligation as set in the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC. All waste primary batteries brought to a collection point are also effectively recycled. It is therefore with great concern that we see voices calling for a potential ban on primary batteries.

The European Commission is currently reviewing the Batteries Directive with a main focus on environmental sustainability. The proposed approaches and measures under discussion include a restriction or even a total prohibition of primary batteries. However, a recent assessment by the Öko Institute showed that even a prohibition of primary batteries would only have a moderate effect on the amount of waste batteries (-25 % by weight), while there would be a huge negative impact on the environment, in particular, global warming, human toxicity, aqua toxicity and environmental acidification.

In view of our support for the European Commission’s ambition to work toward a competitive, circular and sustainable environment and economy in the European Union, we want to caution against policy measures that result in more greenhouse gas emissions and waste, put at risk an existing European industry, create burdens and costs to various sectors, and negatively affect consumer expectations.

We call on the European Commission to take our industry data into account and to withdraw plans to generally phase out primary batteries in Europe.

To read the joint statement in full, please download the document above.

Authors

Luykx
Christoph Luykx
Policy Director
Mittelham
Stéphanie Mittelham
Manager - Energy and Environment

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