Recycling
Sustainability

Eucobat

Shaping future collection targets for batteries in the EU

Strategic challenge

Eucobat represents the European battery collection schemes and supports them through public activities and by performing studies.

The Eucobat members must report to their local authorities how many batteries they collect each year and those authorities, in turn, report to the European commission. The calculation method that is used in this reporting is unable to accurately reflect the real performance of the collection schemes. Consequently, the targets that are imposed by the European commission are difficult to reach.

Eucobat performed a study that had as main challenges:

  • To perform the most comprehensive battery sampling study, known to date,.
  • To calculate the life cycle for those batteries and demonstrate the inadequacy of the current collection targets

Approach

Over the course of a year a total of 21 tonnes of portable batteries were sampled and registered in six European countries. A statistical analysis had foregone this sampling to maximize the results from these efforts. The 21 tonnes (or 154, 000 batteries) were sampled in a precise chemical family and country mix, such that results could be extrapolated over the whole European used-battery market.

The registered batteries were used to calculate the life cycle of batteries. Consequently, this life cycle could be used to translate put-on-market (POM) figures, the amounts of batteries that are put on the European market each year by producers, into the amounts that become end-of-life (EOL). The EOL result could then be compared to what is effectively collected in Europe and the collection target that is imposed by the European commission.

Result

Eucobat now has strong scientific evidence that the current calculation method does not accurately reflect the performance of the European battery collection schemes. Moreover, the sampling result provides a reliable base for future studies of the life cycle and how it impacts battery collection.

The full report, in addition to an executive summary, were published on the Eucobat website.

The Möbius team has managed to analyze a huge amount of data and has presented the conclusions in a clear and understandable way, so the final report can also be used to convince outsiders.

Peter Binnemans, Secretary General
Eucobat

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