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National Battery Stewardship Scheme Will Lead to Levy on Batteries

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On 4th September 2020 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) granted to the Battery Stewardship Council (BSC) the two authorisations necessary for the implementation of an industry-led stewardship scheme that aims to significantly increase the recycling of batteries and end the wasteful and dangerous practice of landfill disposal of batteries.

The BSC (www.bsc.org.au) is a not for profit organisation with funding and support from a range of major industry associations and companies whose products include batteries or who sell or dispose of batteries.

“This is a very important milestone on the pathway to sustainable use and disposal of all batteries which play an essential role in our modern society” said Mr Gerry Morvell, Chair of the BSC.

“Battery stewardship will ensure that all end of life batteries have a recognisable pathway from home, office or workplace to an accredited domestic recycler”.

Australia imports over 900 million Equivalent Battery Units, (i.e. equivalent to a small AA battery) each year. The recycling rate for end of life batteries in Australia is only 10%, which compares poorly with be best rates for developed countries of over 70%.

The final step in development of this Scheme is the Operational Design Phase which includes development of detailed guidelines and procedures as well as working arrangements for battery tracking system, auditing, financial systems for the levy and rebates, and education and communications.

This phase is planned for completion next year with the Scheme being implemented in the second half of 2021 in line with the aim of the National Waste Policy Action Plan.

It remains to be seen what impact this scheme will have upon the Australian bicycle industry and in particular, how much the levy will be on a typical ebike battery.

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