National Battery Strategy Urgently Needs National Recycling Stewardship

TEC welcomes the Albanese government’s announcement of a national battery strategy but it must be accompanied by a comprehensive collection and recycling scheme for end of life batteries.

"If this strategy rolls out without an effective stewardship scheme in place, we risk serious environmental harm and excessive end of life costs for taxpayers and consumers alike", said Mark Zihrul, TEC Campaigner.  


We have previously published a review of battery stewardship in Australia and found current schemes to be ineffective.  It proposes a new way forward here.

"It’s no secret we need to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels. The old system of shipping unrefined lithium overseas in rock form, only to then import batteries of questionable quality back again, isn’t just inefficient and costly, but adds a significant carbon cost in transportation, and increased risks for environmental and human harm."

"We need to ensure a mandatory stewardship scheme is in place nationwide, not merely to fund and facilitate safe recycling, but to meet strong waste reduction targets, enforce high quality battery and labelling standards, implement design improvements to minimise waste, facilitate second life use and obligate easy access for dismantling and recycling purposes.” 

‘’The use of purified recycled battery materials has the potential to offset the CO2 emissions of material supply by around 50%, and reduces the need for additional mines.  A mandatory stewardship scheme would be capable of setting recycled content requirements for new batteries, similar to the requirements being introduced in the European Union.’’ 

“It’s estimated that by 2050 each year we’ll see 1.6 million tonnes of EV batteries reaching the end of their life. If we don’t put in place a system to minimise that waste now, that adequately funds the safe collection, reuse and recycling of those batteries, the cost to the taxpayers and on the environment will be overwhelming.”

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