- About Us
- Batteries' Contribution
- Environment, Health & Safety
- EU Policies
The EU approaches the tackling of waste disposal on the basis of three principles. The first is waste prevention. The aim is to reduce the amount of waste generated by reducing the number of hazardous substances used in manufacturing and by improving manufacturing methods. Secondly, if waste cannot be prevented, it should either be recycled or reused. The European Commission has identified a number of waste streams requiring priority attention including end-of-life vehicles and batteries. The final principle is if waste cannot be recycled it must be disposed of in a safe and monitored manner. The batteries directive and the end-of-life vehicles directive are two examples of the application of this principle, ensuring that the materials used in the manufacture of vehicles and batteries can be reused and recycled where possible, and if not, that only those materials and substances which can be safely disposed of are used in their manufacture.
The Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC) aims to limit pollution to water by setting water quality standards and establishing requirements for the setting up of water management programmes. Management plans were prepared as required under the directive in 2009 with the aim of preventing the deterioration of the quality of water, preventing pollution and preserving protected areas. Annex X to the Directive lists a number of priority substances the Commission identifies as posing a substantial risk to the aquatic environment and whose use should be progressively reduced, including a number of substances commonly found in batteries.
The European Parliament and European Council adopted the Directive on Renewable Energy in April 2009. This Directive establishes a common framework for the promotion of energy from renewable sources by setting national targets for an overall share of energy from renewable sources and for a 10% share of renewable energy of the total energy consumed by the transport sector by 2020. Member States are also required to adopt national renewable energy action plans and to regularly report on their progress in meeting their targets. The Directive also provides for inter-Member State cooperation. Member States are required to adopt implementing laws by 5 December 2010. Batteries will form a key component in helping Member States meet these goals as a form of renewable energy storage and in powering electrical and hybrid vehicles. For more information, see the section on New Opportunities.
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