Battery recycling scheme B-cycle impresses with first performance report

battery disposal

Australia’s government-backed battery recycling scheme B-cycle has today released its first performance report, the Positive Charge Report, highlighting the progress of the product stewardship scheme since its launch in February.

B-cycle has doubled the national collection rate of loose batteries and power tool batteries, recycling the equivalent of 38 million AA batteries in its first six months – enough loose batteries to wrap halfway around the world.

Founded by the not-for-profit Battery Stewardship Council (BSC), B-cycle provides drop-off points in thousands of locations to help people recycle everyday loose batteries safely and easily. Every year, Australians buy enough batteries to circle the planet more than seven times, and until now 90 per cent of used batteries have ended up in landfill.

According to the Positive Charge Report, in just six months, B-cycle has collected more than 918,000 kilograms of used batteries through 3200 drop-off points across all states and territories. It also reveals Australians are increasingly motivated to recycle their used batteries, with the B-cycle website servicing more than 65,000 unique searches for the closest drop-off point.

The report estimates that 90 per cent of loose battery imports and now covered by the scheme, and B-cycle is continuing to attract leading industry brands.

Libby Chaplin, B-cycle Chief Executive Officer, attributes the scheme’s progress to its open-source model, which involves everyone in the supply chain.

“Our membership uptake points towards a paradigm shift in product stewardship, which has shown that rapid change can occur when an entire industry is mobilised to participate, rather than relying on the traditional service provider approach,” she said.

Chaplin said as well as helping members deliver on corporate social responsibility objectives, the scheme is also addressing the growing scarcity of battery metals, and providing a foundation for the fast-growing battery energy storage and electric vehicle sectors.

“As the Scheme nears one year of operation, we are focussing on expanding our network into these burgeoning sectors whilst improving safety in all aspects of the battery life cycle and setting Australia on the right course to match the recycling capabilities of global leaders,” she said.

Duracell Australia General Manager Mariusz Surmacz said the company was proud to be one of the founders of the B-cycle scheme.

“Becoming a fully accredited B-cycle stewardship scheme participant aligns with our values of category leadership and innovation, and it is a visible sign of Duracell’s strong and long-term commitment to the sustainable batteries collection and recycling program,” he said.

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