BCI filed comments with the Environment Protection Agency in response to a request for information regarding the development of best practices for battery collection, recycling and labeling.
The focus of BCI’s comments is to share insights as to what practices have enabled the lead battery industry to build and maintain a sustainable model of collection and recycling. The comments also offer suggestions on how collection and labeling processes can improve, particularly in dealing with batteries across various chemistries.
BCI’s comments support strengthening collection networks, recycling networks, and labeling for all battery chemistries. Better labeling standards would decrease the cross-contamination of recycling streams that leads to safety hazards, increased processing costs, and reduces the quality of recovered materials. BCI advocates that all batteries, regardless of chemistry, should have labels with a consistent and simple marking to encourage and aid recycling. Additionally, BCI urges EPA to base any new labeling guidelines on existing labeling standards.
BCI also stresses that it would be counterproductive to adopt guidelines or requirements that could interrupt the existing, extremely successful, and industry-funded retail collection network for lead batteries.
When issuing the RFI, EPA acknowledged the lead battery industry’s success in these key areas, stating “EPA is aware that these [lead-acid] batteries are manufactured with antimony, a critical mineral, and are currently recycled at a high rate.” EPA emphasized their focus for improvement is for battery chemistries that currently have a lower recovery level of critical minerals. Given EPA’s acknowledgment of the lead battery industry’s success, BCI’s comments offer insight into what enabled that success and how it can be applicable for other types of batteries.
About Battery Council International
Battery Council International is the North American trade association representing the lead-based battery manufacturing, supply, recycling and distribution companies.