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Sustainable Battery Recycling: BWM Rules

Battery Recycling

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued the Battery Waste Management (BWM) Rules, 2022, on August 22, 2022. These rules, applicable to all types of batteries, mandate Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for producers (manufacturers, importers). Producers must meet the collection and recycling targets outlined in Schedule II of the rules. The BWM Rules, 2022, set a recovery target of 90 percent for battery materials, with intermediary targets of 70 percent by 2024-25, 80 percent by 2026, and maintaining 90 percent thereafter from 2026-27 onward.

Guidelines for battery EPR under the BWM Rules, 2022, encompass Electric Vehicle, portable, automotive, and industrial batteries. Producers are responsible for collecting and recycling/refurbishing waste batteries and using recovered materials in new batteries. EPR prohibits landfill disposal and incineration, promoting recycling/refurbishing. Producers can fulfill obligations by directly participating in recycling or authorizing others.

The BWM Rules, 2022, establish a mechanism and centralized online portal for EPR certificate exchange between producers and recyclers/refurbishers, fostering new industries and entrepreneurship in battery recycling. Mandating a minimum material recovery percentage encourages innovation and investment in recycling technologies. By requiring the use of recycled materials in new batteries, the rules aim to reduce reliance on new raw materials, conserving resources.

Salient features include online registration, reporting, auditing, and a monitoring committee for effective implementation. The rules adhere to the Polluter Pays Principle, imposing environmental compensation for non-compliance, with funds used for recycling/refurbishing uncollected and non-recycled waste batteries.

Advantages of EPR in Batteries include:

  • Sustainable Waste Management Practices: Proper collection, recycling, and disposal reduce the environmental impact of hazardous substances.
  • Conservation of Resources: EPR reduces the need for virgin materials in battery production, promoting recycled materials.
  • Advancement of Sustainable Technologies: EPR drives innovation in recycling technologies for more effective and eco-friendly processes.
  • Enhanced Public Health: Mitigating the environmental impact of toxic substances lowers health risks for communities near waste disposal sites.

In conclusion

The Battery Waste Management (BWM) Rules, 2022, mandate Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for all battery types, aiming to achieve a 90 percent recovery target for battery materials. EPR promotes sustainable waste management, resource conservation, innovation in recycling technologies, and reduces health risks associated with improper battery disposal.

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