- EU will require batteries to sport a ‘separate collection’ symbol
- It proposes that manufacturers reuse raw materials like lead, cobalt
- The EU may choose to phase out non-rechargeable portable batteries
European Union recently implemented a law that would force smartphone manufacturers to include USB Type-C ports on their devices. Another new law will require technology companies to open up core features within apps and services to third-party developers. In a similar attempt, the EU Parliament and Council have “reached a provisional agreement to overhaul EU rules on batteries.” These laws will cover the complete life cycle of a battery sold in the EU. Notably, these laws would require smartphones to come with batteries that can be easily removed and replaced.
The new provisional EU agreement covers portable batteries, supplying power for starting, lighting, or ignition of vehicles (SLI) batteries, light means of transport (LMT) batteries, electric vehicle (EV) batteries, and industrial batteries. Such batteries will be required to carry a label or QR code to inform consumers about their capacity, performance, durability, and chemical composition. The batteries will also sport a ‘separate collection’ symbol. These steps are aimed at tackling the manufacturer and consumer wastes.
Replaceable batteries have been mostly absent from current smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro is among a handful of handsets to come with such an offering. If this proposed legislation passes, manufacturers will have three and a half years to redesign their products to include replaceable batteries.
Targets have been set to collect 45 percent of portable batteries by 2023. This will be increased to 63 percent by 2027 and 73 percent by 2030. Similarly, 51 percent of LMT batteries will be collected by 2028 and 61 percent by 2031. In addition, a minimum of 16 percent cobalt, 85 percent lead, 6 percent lithium, and 6 percent nickel recovered from waste will be reused in these batteries.
The EU Parliament and Council now have to formally approve this agreement for it to come into effect. Furthermore, the Commission will assess whether to phase out non-rechargeable portable batteries by 31 December 2030.
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