The Batteries & Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008

Waste Electrical Electronics Equipment Regulations (WEEE) 2002/96/EC

The Batteries and Accumulators Directive came into force on the 26th December 2008. It is European Union Directive which aims to control the use of mercury and cadmium in batteries. It also states that batteries must be marked appropriately and can be readily removed from appliances for end of life disposal. The regulations apply to all types of batteries and those placing them on the market. In the UK this part of the directive is implemented through the Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations (S12008 No. 2164).

A Battery or Accumulator is defined as any source or electrical energy generated by direct conversion of chemical energy. It consists of one of more primary (non-rechargeable) battery cells or of one more secondary (rechargeable) battery cells.

The Regulations use certain descriptions to categorise batteries in order to distinguish which parts of the legislation are applicable to them. These categories are as follows:

Industrial Battery: Any battery or battery pack which is:

  • designed exclusively for industrial or professional uses, or;
  • used as a source of power for propulsion in an electrical vehicle, or;
  • unsealed but is not an automotive battery, or;
  • sealed but is not a portable battery.

Portable Battery: Any battery or battery pack which is sealed, can be hand-carried without difficulty and is neither automotive nor industrial.

Button Cell: Any small, round, portable battery or accumulator which has a diameter greater than its height and is used for special purposes such as hearing aids, watches and back-up power.

Automotive Battery: Any battery used for automotive starter, lighting or ignition power.

The Batteries and Accumulators Regulations place the following requirements on those placing batteries on the European Union market:

  • batteries placed on the EU market must not contain the hazardous substances at the above maximum permitted concentration values.
  • products must be designed in such a way that the battery can be readily removed when it comes to the end of its life allowing it to be easily and appropriately recycled.
  • the battery or accumulator must be marked with the crossed out wheeled bin symbol which should be printed clearly, visibly and indelibly.

The regulations restrict the use of mercury and cadmium in batteries to very low percentages. Where permitted, any battery containing more than this amount of hazardous substance must be marked with the crossed out wheeled bin symbol and the chemical symbol of the element in contains. Lead,  above certain limits, is also included in the marking requirements.

Unwanted electrical equipment is the UK’s fastest growing type of waste. Many electrical items can be repaired or recycled, saving natural resources and the environment. If you do not recycle, electrical equipment will end up in the landfill where hazardous substances will leak out and cause soil and water contamination – harming wildlife and also human health.

To remind you that old electrical equipment can be recycled, it is now marked with a crossed-out wheeled bin symbol crossed out wheelie bin symbol for EEE products. Please do not throw any electrical equipment (including those marked with crossed-out wheeled bin symbol) in your domestic bin.

In order to meet the requirement of WEEE regulations, producers of electrical and electronics equipment are required to contribute financially for the recycling of household “waste electrical products”. Pimp-My-Bike Retail is a registered producer of batteries in the UK. Our producer registration number is BPRN02681. You are classed as a producer if you:

  • manufacture and sell electrical and electronic equipment under your own brand.
  • resell under your own brand equipment produced by other suppliers.
  • import electrical and electronic equipment on a professional basis into an EU Member State. This includes imports into the UK from other EU Member States.
  • Producers are required to mark all EEE put onto market with the crossed out wheeled bin symbol. This is to ensure its collection at the end of its life.

Batteries are identified with a crossed-out wheeled bin symbol. Underneath this symbol there will be a chemical symbol, if the battery contains more than 0.0005% mercury (Hg) or more than 0.002% cadmium (Cd) or 0.004% lead (Pb). Individual button cells are not marked. However, a 1 cm x 1 cm crossed out wheeled bin  and the appropriate chemical symbol can be found on the back of the packaging.

This scheme ensures that all registered companies contribute to the cost of processing WEEE through your amenity processing site and is helping to fund a national network of collection facilities for Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment.

By taking your waste electrical products to one of the registered amenity sites, customers can be confident that their product will be subjected to a monitored and controlled recycling process, thereby preventing these products being sent to landfill.

Whenever practical, old electrical waste should not be disposed of with your household waste. You can locate your closest participating collection site at www.recycle-more.co.uk (please remember to have your UK post code to hand).