Battery recycling scheme ramps up


The Battery Stewardship Council (BSC), Australia’s official battery product stewardship scheme, has unveiled plans to increase participation, alongside a new-look public program called B-cycle (Scheme).

In the lead-up to the January 2022 launch of the national public scheme, B-cycle will actively pursue new industry participants such as household battery importers, manufacturers, recyclers, and retailers to join the scheme.

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction, Trevor Evans said the Battery Stewardship Council is among the first organisations to develop a voluntary product stewardship scheme under the government’s $26 million Product Stewardship Investment Fund.

“As waste batteries, especially those used in small handheld devices, are one of the fastest growing waste streams, this industry-led scheme will play an essential role in significantly increasing Australia’s battery collections and recycling, and help our circular economy grow.

“But it will only work if industry plays its part. We must all work together toward Australian consumers soon being able to safely and responsibly manage all types of used batteries at their end-of-life,” Evans said.

Libby Chaplin, Chief Executive of B-cycle said setting in motion a nationwide reset on batteries was a pivotal moment.

“A whopping 90 per cent of Australia’s handheld batteries brought into the country end up in landfill. Any used batteries not recycled properly and safely can leach toxic chemicals into our environment, or even cause fires in the home when stored. Additionally, despite being a source of valuable and finite resources, battery recycling has remained small-scale in Australia – until now.”

The B-cycle Scheme will lead Australia’s efforts to responsibly manage the recycling of batteries and is set to be fully operational with a network of drop-off locations in retail spaces by January 2022.

Prominent battery and electronic brands, retailers, and battery collectors including Bunnings, Canon, Coles, Duracell, EcoBatt, Energizer, Envirostream, Hilti, Honda, Panasonic, Milwaukee, and Woolworths have committed to the scheme.

Chaplin said for the program to scale it needs to a range of sectors to get involved.

“It’s crucial Australia’s battery importers, collectors and recyclers sign up now and become accredited participants to take full advantage of the launch,” she said.

“Being the official Scheme, B-cycle provides robust traceability, assurance collected batteries are recycled in a safe and environmentally sound way, and collected materials placed back into closed-loop systems.”

Participating in this scheme aligns with the Federal Government’s Product Stewardship legislation and goals towards recycling and waste reduction obligations.

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