Battery Makers Battle Over Cadmium

College Park, MD - The debate over nickel-cadmium (ni-cd) rechargeable batteries heats up again this year in Europe, as the European Commission again attempts to push its proposal to ban cadmium batteries by 2008 and require 75% recovery on all batteries, according to 2001 Edition of "Battery Recovery Laws Worldwide," a report published from Raymond Communications, Inc.

U.S. power tool makers are in Europe, arguing that it will be impossible to maintain a recycling infrastructure on a battery that is slated for extinction. Experts on both sides are offering proof of whether the ni-cds can be effectively replaced by alternatives by 2008 - and there are rumors the Commission is leaning towards giving up the ban if they can impose deposits on batteries to ensure high recovery targets. No country has been able to recycle more than about half of its ni-cd's in separate programs - and the cost can be high.

Even though only ni-cds and lead acid batteries have toxic materials in them, five countries have recently expanded their mandatory battery recycling laws to include most other batteries, in part to avoid consumer confusion. Today, 16 countries have mandatory recycling laws for rechargeable batteries, according to the report.

Meanwhile in the U.S., rechargeable battery makers are putting about $9 million per year into a national collection program, and they were able to get back about 3.8 million pounds of rechargeable batteries in 2000. Nine states require recycling of ni-cd's. While industry may not reach its 50% recycling goal by 2002, the national program has waged a successful public education campaign and succeeded at keeping new U.S. battery legislation at bay.

"Battery Recovery Laws Worldwide" is the only publicly-available reference that summarizes rechargeable battery recycling legislation in the U.S. and 24 countries worldwide.

For each country, the report details:

  • Which batteries are covered and how
  • What recovery is required
  • What markings and labels are required on the battery, the product and the package
  • Special requirements/bans
  • Summary of current takeback program
  • Battery fees or taxes
  • Contact information; phone numbers

Readers can opt for an expanded version of the report (on CD) that will include full texts of most international battery laws in English, including new texts from Japan, Taiwan, France, and other explanatory information.

The report can be ordered from Raymond Communications, publisher of Recycling Laws International by calling 301-345-4237, or through the website at http://www.raymond.com.


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