The Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI) earlier this month received prototypes for its latest investigation into new business models for the collection, recycling and disposal of used batteries.
Designs were completed for three options for the NSW Environmental Trust funded project and the prototypes will now be evaluated.
ABRI said the focus is on safe disposal or recycling of small disc-shaped batteries used in a range of products including hearing aids, watches, toys, promotional items, cameras, car keys and remote controllers.
The not-for-profit association estimated around five children presented to an emergency department each week in Australia with a button or coin cell related injury.
The items range from 12 millimetres to 20 millimetres and are considered a safety hazard for small children due to risk of intervention.
The Institute of Sustainable Futures will evaluate the prototypes over the coming months by conducting surveys and workshops to obtain customer feedback.
The 12-month project was undertaken in conjunction with a range of partners including the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF), Kidsafe, ACCC and the Hearing Care Industry Association.
ABRI is also working with the Battery Implementation Working Group (BIWG) to advance the creation of a national voluntary stewardship scheme for handheld batteries.
Last week, they said they were in the process of finalising a financial options paper that identifies pros and cons for establishing the scheme and they would meet with the BIWG in February to review the findings.