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Battery recycling not just down to retailers, says BRC

Published: 1 February 2010
Trade association questions methods of collecting used batteries and believes retailers should not be expected to bear the entire responsibility for meeting recycling targets.
Battery recycling not just down to retailers, says BRC
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said that, while it backs the change in legislation, which requires shops to collect used batteries, it doesn't believe that in-store collections will be enough to meet recycling targets.

The retail trade association said it understands the aim of reducing the number of batteries going to landfill and is confident that the collection facilities are now in place in retail outlets.

However, in order to meet national targets of a 25% increase in battery recycling by 2012 and a 45% increase by 2016, the BRC believes more kerbside collections are required, as well as a continuing campaign to provide consumers with information and change their habits.

The legislation, which came into effect today, requires that a retailer selling more than 32kg of portable batteries a year in an individual store, must provide a free take-back service for used cells.

BRC head of environment Bob Gordon said: "The aim of reducing the number of batteries going to landfill is a good one. Retailers recognise their responsibilities and they're ready with the facilities the law requires but on its own it won't be enough."

He added: "Shops can't be the only route for collection...All the evidence shows home collections of recyclables are easiest for customers and produce best results.

"We need more local authorities to take used batteries from homes and a more consistent recycling regime for all materials. Incompatible schemes for dealing with different waste products - batteries, electricals, glass, plastics - confuse people and hold back overall recycling rates."

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