Batteries: Waste Disposal

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 11th November 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of (1) the number and percentage of total batteries that are discarded into general waste each year, and (2) how many fires are caused in waste disposal facilities each year by discarded batteries; what assessment they have made of the level of environmental contamination caused by discarded batteries; and what plans they have to reduce any such contamination.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Government has not made an estimate of the number of batteries that are discarded into general waste each year. Nor do we hold information on the number of fires in waste disposal facilities caused by discarded batteries.

A UK-wide producer responsibility scheme is in place for batteries, placing certain responsibilities on producers for their goods, including at end-of-life.

As part of the Resources and Waste Strategy, published in December 2018, we committed to review the four existing producer responsibility schemes, including the requirements applying to batteries. That review is underway. and will consider the arrangements applying to the disposal and treatment of waste portable batteries Similarly, the arrangements applying to the disposal and treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) are also under review, with such equipment often containing batteries.

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