Waste batteries: Centre notifies new Management, Handling rules
New Delhi: The Union Environment Ministry has notified new rules to ensure environmentally sound management of used batteries.
“Addressing the nation on Independence Day last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged everyone to promote the circular economy in full earnest. The notification of Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022 is a transformative step in that direction,” the ministry said in a statement.
The new rules replace Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001, and apply to all types of batteries except those used in “equipment connected with the protection of the essential security interests including arms, ammunition, war material and those intended specifically for military purposes; and equipment designed to be sent into space”.
The rules function on the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in which the producers (including importers) are responsible for collection and recycling/refurbishment of waste batteries and the use of recovered material in new batteries.
EPR mandates that waste batteries be sent for recycling or refurbishing and not to landfills or for incineration.
To meet the EPR obligations, producers may engage themselves or authorise any other entity for collection, recycling or refurbishment of waste batteries.
The rules will enable setting up a mechanism and centralized online portal for exchange of EPR certificates between producers and recyclers/refurbishers to fulfil the obligations of producers.
The rules also promote setting up of new industries and entrepreneurship in collection and recycling/refurbishment of waste batteries.
Mandating the minimum percentage of recovery of materials from waste batteries under the rules will bring new technologies and investment in the recycling and refurbishment industry and create new business opportunities, the ministry said.
Prescribing the use of a certain amount of recycled materials in making of new batteries will reduce the dependency on new raw materials and save natural resources, it said.
Online registration and reporting, auditing, and a committee for monitoring the implementation of rules and to take measures required for removal of difficulties are salient features of rules for ensuring effective implementation and compliance.
As per ‘polluter pays’ principle, environmental compensation will be imposed for non-fulfilment of Extended Producer Responsibility targets, responsibilities and obligations set out in the rules. The funds collected under environmental compensation will be utilised in collecting and refurbishing or recycling of waste batteries, the ministry said.