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European Portable Battery Association (EPBA)


Joint industry statement on the impact of restricting primary batteries in Europe

September 15th, 2020

AmCham EU | APPLiA | CPHE | Digital Europe | EBRA | EGMF | EPBA | EPTA | EUCOBAT | FH | Orgalim | RECHARGE | TIE | ZVEI 

Fourteen trade associations consider the envisaged phase out of primary batteries incompatible with Europe’s goal for a carbon neutral economy. The signatory parties support the European Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan, and are committed to provide European consumers with truly sustainable solutions – based on proven positive impacts on both the environment and the European economy. Primary batteries have a vital role to play in a number of different battery applications and complement an increasing area of use of rechargeable batteries.

Primary batteries, today, provide growing levels of power while being smaller and using less materials than previous generation’s batteries. Since 2006, the environmental impact of primary batteries has even further decreased by implementing the collection obligation as set in the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC. All waste primary batteries brought to a collection point are also effectively recycled. It is therefore with great concern that we see voices calling for a potential ban on primary batteries.

The European Commission is currently reviewing the Batteries Directive with a main focus on environmental sustainability. The proposed approaches and measures under discussion include a restriction or even a total prohibition of primary batteries. However, a recent assessment by the Öko Institute showed that even a prohibition of primary batteries would only have a moderate effect on the amount of waste batteries (-25 % by weight), while there would be a huge negative impact on the environment, in particular, global warming, human toxicity, aqua toxicity and environmental acidification.

The full joint statement is available here

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