The European Parliament has today approved the awaited Battery Directive. Green MEP Jean Lambert welcomed the decision that will ensure schemes for the collection of used batteries and accumulators are set up throughout Europe by 2008.
Jean, who is the Green MEP for London, warned that the UK must take the Directive seriously to ensure they do not face a similar situation to that of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. Jean commented; "Six Member States including Belgium, Austria, France and Germany have had collection schemes for portable batteries in place for some time now, reaching impressive collection rates of up to 59%. The directive passed today now requires all member states, including the UK, to reach a minimum collection rate of 25% by 2012 and 45% by 2016. We have two years to transpose the directive into national law, which should be ample time to make good progress.
"With new limits on the content of cadmium and mercury in batteries and the requirement for all batteries to be labelled with their real capacity by 2009 producers will not only have to reduce pollution in the products but consumers can make a more informed choice to protect the environment even further when purchasing them.
"Batteries can not be recycled without a good collection scheme in place. It's vital that we implement these immediately. Easily accessible collection points must be available to consumers by 2008 and distributors will have to take back the used batteries at no cost regardless of when they were sold allowing everyone to take part. The Directive is a positive step forward in reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and helping us all take care of the environment we live in."
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Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.