Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, the Hon. Trevor Evans MP, has announced that he expects all battery retailers and importers to participate in the newly accredited Battery Stewardship Scheme (BSS).
It is estimated that 18,600  tonnes of batteries reaching end-of-life are sent to landfill each year in Australia.
All batteries are hazardous to some degree and it is important that we can safely and responsibly dispose of batteries.
The BSS is an industry-led initiative to provide free battery recycling to consumers across Australia.
The Battery Stewardship Council (BSC) has already recruited industry partners including Duracell, Energizer, Coles and Woolworths to fund recycling and provide collection services for end-of-life batteries.
On 30 July 2021, Assistant Minister Evans said Australia’s current battery recycling rate is just not good enough and that accreditation of the scheme will give both the public and industry assurance that the scheme aligns with Australia’s circular economy principles.
“It is the Australian Government’s tick of approval,” he said.
“Accordingly, I am determined to see constructive engagement from all facets of the battery supply and recycling chain with the scheme – we need everyone in the supply chain to play their part in making sure that Australia gets its battery recycling right.”
“I am putting all battery importers and retailers on notice that the Government expects them to participate in the scheme to meet their recycling and waste reduction obligations.”
“The BSS will recover and recycle button batteries and the batteries we all routinely find ourselves replacing as consumers including AAs and AAAs.”
“This scheme will not only benefit Australia’s unique environment by recovering and recycling the batteries currently sent to landfill but will also help remove button batteries, which can be hazardous to small children, from our homes.”
CEO of the BSC, Libby Chaplin, said accreditation of the scheme marks a pivotal step in the BSC’s journey towards launching a national collection network by January 2022.
She said it demonstrates how significantly the Government supports the Scheme and as a result, the BSC expects to see importer and retailer participation grow.
“The BSC is very pleased with the announcement from the Australian Government that our application for accreditation has been successful. This will give confidence to the battery collection and recycling industry to invest in infrastructure for collection and processing. It also puts greater emphasis on the Scheme’s commitment to transparency and responsible recycling which the BSC looks forward to delivering for the industry,” Ms Chaplin said.
Batteries have now been removed from the Minister’s Product Stewardship Priority List. This recognises the significant action taken by the industry to take responsibility for the entire lifecycle of batteries and their contents.
 “Australian Battery Market Analysis” (2020) EnvisageWorks on behalf of the Battery Stewardship Council.