January 1st 2009 a new regulation (SFS 2008:834) on producer responsibility for batteries was enforced in Sweden. In short it states that battery producers are obliged to collect all spent batteries through providing one or more suitable national collection systems. This law is the Swedish implementation of the EG Directive 06/66 with the similar requirements all over Europe. The Swedish EPA – Naturvårdsverket – is overseeing the implementation of the EG Directive. Naturvårdsverket has been given authority to advice on further details on parts of the new rules.
The ordinance requires at least 95 % of all lead acid batteries to be collected. This level has been reached by the lead acid battery industry over the last years. The first official report according to the producer responsibility law will cover 2009. The first report from Sweden to EU will cover 2009-2011. Our calculation estimates the collection level to 100 % 2009, 98 % 2010,100 % 2011 and 96 % 2012. In summary: Practically everything is collected!
The lead acid industry has through the company BlyBatteriRetur created a nationwide and very cost efficient system, which meets all the requirements of the law. This company shall develop, provide and manage a collective collection system for lead acid batteries, following the requirements of the law. BlyBatteriRetur is owned by the more important battery companies in Sweden as well as by the trade organisation SWEBATT.
On producer responsibility
The ordinance stipulates an obligation for producers to collect spent batteries by making sure that there are one or more suitable collection systems for batteries. As a producer you are also liable to make sure that batteries being handed over to a collection system are transported, reused or recycled or are taken care of in one from environmental point of view suitable way.
A producer is defined as anyone who puts the battery on the Swedish market for the first time. Sweden today lacks manufacturing, so anyone importing batteries is a producer. This covers as well batteries, sold individually on the aftermarket; as batteries mounted in cars, forklift trucks and other systems.
For a producer of lead acid batteries, the law shortly means the following:
- Liability to collect the spent batteries by making sure there is one or more suitable collection systems for lead acid batteries.
- A collection system shall among other things have a suitable geographical coverage of Sweden as well as being available for all producers in a non-discriminatory way.
- 95 procent of the total wieght of sold automotive and industrial batteries must be collected. This means the same level as presently.
- The producer responsibility covers all batteries, also those being on the market on January 1, 2009.
- All producers must register as a producer to Naturvårdsverket and report certain information each year to Naturvårdsverket.
- Producers with less sales than 250 kg lead acid batteries (each over 3 kg) are not covered by the producer responsibilitye but is still obliged to register to the Naturvårdsverket. The same is valid for a yearly sales of less than 100 kg for batteries (each below 1 kg).
On the collection system of BlyBatteriRetur
Individual companies can organise by themselves a collection system and in this way meet the requirements of the producer responsibility. Given the requirements of the law, it is expensive and complicated to manage such a system for a single producer. In Sweden it is a common practice that trade organisations establish so called producer companies or material companies to solve such a task. BlyBatteriRetur is such a producer company within the lead acid industry.
The collection system for lead acid batteries in short
- Producers connected to BlyBatteriRetur comprises a very large share of the Swedish market.
- All distributors of automotive lead acid batteries are obliged to receive spent lead acid batteriers. A majority of the automotive batteries are collected from the consumers in this way, through distributors and through repair shops.
- The other important channel for automotive batteries from households in Sweden is municipal waste reception stations.
- Collecting companies, working with BlyBatteriRetur collect most spent automotive batteries. The exception is a small export volume.
- Collecting companies collect spent batteries from distributors and repair shops, from municipalities and industrial companies, who buy and use lead acid batterier in their operations, in electrical forklift trucks, in power stations and in telecomunication systems and backup stations.
- The collecting companies of BlyBatteriRetur transport spent batterier to Boliden Bergsöe in Landskrona, and its recycling operation there. This is one of the leading recycling operations in Europe from an environmental point of view.
For further information, please contact:
Carl Ranhög, contact person
Phone: +46 8 21 50 60