Publication of the Q4 2016 battery recycling figures shows that the UK has missed its European target of 45% recycling.
While larger producers appear to have met the target, it appears that smaller producers that are not required to contribute to collection schemes have meant that the target has been missed.
Ecosurety principle consultant Mark Sayers (pictured) said: “The Q4 figures show large producers through their compliance schemes have met their target for last year, which is good news. The shortfall has come from smaller producers who have effectively added to the target, but who are not compelled to actively recycle their batteries.
“Up to now the difference has been met by larger producers, but because the cost of recycling batteries has risen, larger producers through their schemes are recycling only enough to meet their obligation. This means they are no longer subsidising the small producers’ contribution.
“They are simply buying back their obligations. This shift shows the batteries market is tightening, and that costs are increasing. We would urge the Environment Agency to look again at this unintended consequence of the regulations to see if there is a way forward. The system is definitely working, it now needs a bit of tweaking so that the spirit of the legislation comes through.”