The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued a draft notification for 'Battery Waste Management Rules, 2020', which is set to supersede Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001.
The amendment looks to ensure safe and formalised recycling of batteries that are in use, with a focus on tracking batteries that have completed their useful life through online records and data management. The proposed rules will seek accountability to make sure that the batteries are recycled through formal channel.
The new rules, when enforced, will be applicable to "every manufacturer, producer, collection centre, importer, re-conditioner, re-furbisher, dismantler, assembler, dealer, recycler, auctioneer, vehicle service centre, consumer and bulk consumers involved in manufacture, processing, sale, purchase, collection, storage, re-processing and use of batteries or components there of including their components, consumables and spare parts which make the product operational."
The Ministry has asked manufacturers to set up collection centres by themselves or jointly at various places for collecting used batteries from consumers and dealers. They will also have to make arrangements for safe transportation of old batteries from the collection centre to the authorised/registered recyclers. Furthermore, manufacturers will also need to file an annual record of their sales and buyback to the State Board by December 31 of every year.
The battery chemistry of the batteries used in the automotive industry that are proposed under the purview but not limited to include lead-acid battery (Deep cycle battery, VRLA battery, AGM battery, Gel battery), Lithium-ion battery (Lithium-ion lithium cobalt oxide battery (ICR), Lithium-ion manganese oxide battery (IMR), Lithium-ion polymer battery, Lithium iron phosphate battery, Magnesium-ion battery, Nickel-cadmium battery (Nickel-cadmium battery vented cell type), Nickel-hydrogen battery, Rechargeable alkaline battery, Rechargeable fuel battery, Sodium-sulphur battery, Sugar battery, Super iron battery, Ultra Battery.
If the proposed amendments come into force, India may take a lead in establishing a regulatory framework on putting in place a mechanism for safe disposal and recycling of batteries in the world.