The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022 to ensure environmentally sound management of waste batteries. The new rules will replace the “Battery (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001”.
What is the rule?
These rules cover all types of batteries. It includes electric vehicle battery, portable battery, automotive battery, industrial battery. It is based on the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), where the manufacturers of batteries are responsible for the collection and recycling of waste batteries and use of materials recovered from the waste into new batteries.
Extended Producer Responsibility
(1) The EPR mandates that all waste batteries be collected and sent for recycling/renewal, and it prohibits disposal in landfills and incineration. To meet EPR obligations, Manufacturers may engage themselves or authorize any other entity to collect, recycle or refurbish.
(2)Based on centralized online portal: The portal will facilitate exchange of EPR certificates between producers and recyclers for fulfilling the obligations of the producers.
(3) Promoting new industries: It promotes the establishment and entrepreneurship of new industries in the collection and recycling of waste batteries.
(4) Monitoring Committee: A committee is constituted for online registration and reporting, audit and monitoring the implementation of rules.
(5) Adheres to the polluter payment principle: Environmental compensation will be imposed for not meeting the Extended Producer Responsibility targets, responsibilities and obligations set forth in these rules.
(6) Funds: The funds collected under Environmental Compensation will be used for the collection and renewal or recycling of non-collectible and non-recyclable waste batteries.
Why is battery management needed?
Since EV is a booming industry right now. Emphasis on the adoption and production of Electric Vehicles (EVs). Apart from this, it is also very important to become self-reliant in this field. India aims to reduce carbon emissions and therefore aims to establish renewable sources of electricity generation, which are important for batteries.
How harmful is the informal recycling sector?
(1) Release of toxins: In the informal recycling sector, old batteries release toxins into the air, water and soil.
(2) Against the rules: Transporting batteries to the informal recycling area is in direct violation of the Battery Management and Handling Rules (2001).
(3) Lack of regulation by authorities like CPCB and SPCB. (4) The polluting nature of recycling in the informal sector, in which lead is melted at furnaces and acid in batteries is often dumped into nearby drains or fields – polluting the water as well as the soil.