The government on Thursday notified the 2022 battery waste management rules that will make it mandatory for manufacturers and dealers to collect used batteries against new ones they sell.
A notification in this regard has been issued by the Union’s Department of Environment, which will oversee its implementation to ensure environmentally sound management of used batteries.
“The notification of these rules is a transformative step towards implementing the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the Nation on Independence Day on August 15, 2021 to seriously promote the circular economy” , said a ministry official. that the new rules will replace the 2001 Battery (Management and Handling) Rules.
The rules cover all types of batteries viz. electric vehicle batteries, portable batteries, automotive batteries and industrial batteries.
The rules operate on the basis of the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) where producers (including importers) of batteries are responsible for the collection and recycling/refurbishment of used batteries and the use of recovered materials waste into new batteries.
The EPR requires that all used batteries be collected and sent for recycling/refurbishment, and it prohibits disposal in landfills and incineration. To meet EPR obligations, producers can contract or authorize any other entity for the collection, recycling or refurbishment of used batteries.
The rules will establish a mechanism and a centralized online portal for the exchange of REP certificates between producers and recyclers/reconditioners in order to fulfill the obligations of producers.
“Imposing a minimum percentage of material recovery from used batteries under the rules will bring new technologies and investment into the recycling and refurbishment industry and create new business opportunities,” according to the legislation.
Online recording and reporting, auditing and a committee to monitor the implementation of the rules and take necessary action to eliminate difficulties are the main features of the rules to ensure effective implementation and compliance .
On the principle of the polluter pays principle, environmental compensation will be imposed in the event of non-compliance with the objectives, responsibilities and obligations of the EPR defined in the rules.
Funds raised under environmental compensation will be used for the collection and refurbishment or recycling of uncollected and unrecycled used batteries, the official said.