Q2 battery data shows UK on track to meet targets

Statistics for the second quarter of 2021 suggest the UK is on track to meet its portable battery recycling target.

Batteries from small mixed WEEE

According to figures published by the Environment Agency on the National Packaging Waste Database on 31 August, 4,957 tonnes of batteries were collected by compliance schemes in the UK between April and June 2021. Between January and March, compliance schemes collected 4,924 tonnes.

The UK target for 2021 is 45% of the average annual amount of portable batteries placed on the UK market by compliance scheme members and small producers in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The indicative UK obligation for 2021 using estimates based on the second quarter is 16,996 tonnes.

This means 58% of the estimated obligation has already been collected, ahead of the 50% mark it would need to be in order to hit the target in the first two quarters. And, the last quarter of the year usually sees high tonnage of batteries due to Christmas, meaning it is highly likely the 2021 target will be hit.

Table shows waste portable batteries collected by battery compliance schemes

Continued trends

Commenting on the data, John Redmayne, managing director at compliance group European Recycling Platform, explained that this most recent set of data shows that trends carried over from the pandemic are continuing.

Mr Redmayne told letsrecycle.com: “Despite, or perhaps because of, Covid-19, 2020 saw more portable batteries placed on the market in the UK than any previous year.

“Looking at the Q2 2021 data just released, this trend seems to be continuing with the volumes for each quarter higher than any previous equivalent quarter.”

He went on to add that Q2 shows a positive outlook for the UK achieving its recycling target.

“On the waste side, the collection and recycling of portable batteries in 2021 also reached record levels with the volumes for each quarter higher than any previous equivalent quarter.

“Collections of portable lead acid batteries have again been particularly strong – so it looks as though, despite the increased volumes POM, the UK is well on its way to achieving the 45% recycling target.”

The UK is well on its way to achieving the 45% recycling target

  • John Redmayne, managing director at European Recycling Platform

Market

Of the 8,411 tonnes of batteries placed on the market by compliance scheme members this quarter, 277 were lead acid, 42 were nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd) and 8,092 were ‘other’.

In terms of the 4,957 tonnes of waste portable batteries collected by compliance schemes, 3,821 were lead acid, 64 were Ni-Cd and 1,071 were other.

Q1

The figures for the second quarter of the year remain relatively consistent with those reported in the first quarter.

In Q1, in the period between January and March 2021, a total of 4,924 tonnes of batteries were collected in the UK (see letsrecycle.com story).

This meant 28% of the estimated obligation target of 17,524 was collected in this quarter.

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