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‘Only 3%’ of batteries are currently recycled

Free battery recycling in shops from February 2010

A new study has estimated that only 3% of batteries are currently recycled – but it also found that the vast majority of  people would recycle batteries if it were easier to do so.

The European Recycling Platform (ERP) asked more than 2,000 British adults if batteries were among the products they recycled. While nearly all of those questioned said they recycled some household waste, only a third had ever recycled batteries.

Battery recycling

According to the ERP, more than 600m batteries are used in the UK each year, but only 3% are recycled, with most going to landfill. Around 40% of batteries are purchased around Christmas, to power products including digital cameras, and TV and DVD player remote controls.  

New EU rules should help boost the number of batteries recycled each year. All shops selling 32kg or more of household batteries – equivalent to around one four-pack of AA batteries a day – will be required to offer free battery recycling collection points in stores from 1 February 2010. A battery recycling target of 45% will have to be met by 2016.

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