In 2019, European Recycling Platform (ERP) Germany’s take-back scheme for waste portable batteries achieved a collection rate of 46.9 percent, once again exceeding the legal requirements. This has been confirmed by an external auditor.
Last year’s collection was increased by more than 50 percent to a total of 2,377 tonnes of waste portable batteries. But ERP Germany’s take-back scheme has not only grown in terms of the quantities collected, but also in terms of the associated producers who are part of the scheme. In 2019, the number of portable batteries put on market by these producers amounted to 6,763 tonnes, which is 1,623 tonnes more than in 2018.
ERP Germany has continuously expanded the collection of waste portable batteries in recent years and has always been able to meet the increasing requirements of the country’s Battery Law. Since 2016, all schemes have been required to take back at least 45% of the portable batteries put on the market. This is to ensure that as many waste batteries as possible can be recycled and the materials they contain can be reused.
Consumers are also obliged by the Battery Law to participate in the take-back of waste portable batteries. For example, waste batteries contained in equipment such as toys, IT and communications technology or tools must be taken to an official collection point. The residual waste bin is unsuitable for the disposal of batteries, as waste portable batteries cannot be sorted out of residual waste and thus cannot be recycled. There is also a risk of chemicals leaking and subsequently causing damage to the environment and health.
ERP Germany carries out the collection of waste portable batteries in specially designed battery containers. For smaller collection quantities – for example, in schools or shops – there are collection boxes made of cardboard. These are available free of charge to interested battery collectors. The collected waste portable batteries are picked up by ERP – also free of charge.
ERP Germany’s take-back scheme was approved by the highest authority of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 2010. Since then, it has been operating a growing, nationwide take-back system for waste portable batteries in Germany. Collected waste batteries are sorted and then sent to specialized recycling plants that are verified by ERP.
Find the full report of ERP Germany’s battery collections in 2019 here.