Convenience stores that sell more than 32kg-worth of batteries a year must provide a collection service for used cells from this week.

The Batteries Directive came into effect on February 1 and requires all retailers who sell more than the annual limit equivalent to one four-pack of AA batteries a day to sign up to a Battery Compliance Scheme (BCS) and provide a collection bin that will then be emptied without charge by the BCS.

Stores are obliged to accept all types of spent portable battery not just those they sell. These include batteries for mobile phones, cameras, laptops and watches.

Businesses are encouraged to publicise their involvement in the scheme by registering at

Booker is working with recycling company Valpak to provide collection boxes for its retail customers.

Booker sales director Steve Fox pointed out that the situation could be turned into a positive, as offering a battery collection service would provide another reason for customers to enter stores and therefore could help drive footfall.

Defra has published an online calculator which allows businesses to work out if their sales qualify for the scheme.

It has also published downloadable pos material for retailers to use to inform customers that batteries can be recycled in their store.

A list of BCS collection services can also be found on the Defra website.