As the deadline for the introduction of battery recycling approaches and the Christmas rush on batteries begins, retailers are advised to sign up to the Batteries Directive scheme and ensure that they do not pay for recycling if they sell more than the annual quota.

From February 1, 2010 retailers who sell more than 32kg of batteries a year - the equivalent of one four-pack of AA batteries a day will be obliged to provide a ‘battery take back’ facility for customers. The returned batteries are then collected by a Battery Compliance Scheme operator (BCS) for recycling. 

Panasonic sales manager Tim Clark advised retailers to ensure they don’t pay for collection if they are over the 32kg limit. “One aspect we would draw retailers’ attention to is the fact that they should not expect to pay for the batteries to be collected and disposed of,” he said. “This is the responsibility of the Battery Compliance Schemes, who are obliged to collect them free of charge so anyone offering to recycle your used batteries at a cost should be avoided.”

Retailers who sign up for the scheme but sell less than 32kg a year may be charged for collection. However Defra spokeswoman Liz Fairweather advised those in this position to contact the BCS to discuss how the situation could be worked out.

She also advised that retailers that don’t join the scheme and then sold more than the limit could face prosecution.

Are you covered?
Contact Defra on 08459 33 55 77 or