New Delhi: The Union Environment Ministry has notified new rules to ensure environmentally sound management of used batteries. “Addressing the nation on Independence Day last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged everyone to promote the circular economy in full earnest. The notification of Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022 is a transformative step in that direction,” the ministry said in a statement. The new rules replace Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001, and apply to all types of batteries except those used in “equipment connected with the protection of the essential security interests including arms, ammunition, war material and those intended specifically for military purposes; and equipment designed to be sent into space”. The rules function on the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in which the producers (including importers) are responsible for collection and recycling/refurbishment of waste batteries and the use of recovered material in new batteries.
EPR mandates that waste batteries be sent for recycling or refurbishing and not to landfills or for incineration. To meet the EPR obligations, producers may engage themselves or authorise any other entity for collection, recycling or refurbishment of waste batteries.
The rules will enable setting up a mechanism and centralized online portal for exchange of EPR certificates between producers and recyclers/refurbishers to fulfil the obligations of producers.
The rules also promote setting up of new industries and entrepreneurship in collection and recycling/refurbishment of waste batteries. Mandating the minimum percentage of recovery of materials from waste batteries under the rules will bring new technologies and investment in the recycling and refurbishment industry and create new business opportunities, the ministry said.
Prescribing the use of a certain amount of recycled materials in making of new batteries will reduce the dependency on new raw materials and save natural resources, it said.
Online registration and reporting, auditing, and a committee for monitoring the implementation of rules and to take measures required for removal of difficulties are salient features of rules for ensuring effective implementation and compliance.
As per ‘polluter pays’ principle, environmental compensation will be imposed for non-fulfilment of Extended Producer Responsibility targets, responsibilities and obligations set out in the rules. The funds collected under environmental compensation will be utilised in collecting and refurbishing or recycling of waste batteries, the ministry said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.