European Parliament approves new rules for battery design and management

The legislation aims to promote a circular economy, benefit consumers, and strengthen the EU recycling industry.

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On 14 June 2023, the European Parliament approved new regulations regarding the design, production, and management of batteries in the European Union (EU). The rules cover the entire life cycle of all types of batteries and aim to address technological advancements and future challenges in the sector. The regulations include several key measures, such as the requirement for a carbon footprint declaration and label for electric vehicle batteries, light means of transport batteries, and rechargeable industrial batteries. 

Additionally, portable batteries in appliances must be designed for easy removal and replacement by consumers. A digital battery passport will be introduced for certain types of batteries, and a due diligence policy will be implemented for economic operators. The regulations also set targets for waste collection and minimum levels of materials recovered from waste batteries. Furthermore, there are provisions for minimum levels of recycled content in new batteries. 

The rapporteur, Achille Variati, emphasised the importance of the legislation in promoting a circular economy, benefiting consumers, and strengthening the EU recycling industry. The Council’s endorsement and subsequent publication in the EU Official Journal are the next steps before the regulations are enacted. This initiative aligns with the European Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan, and the New Industrial Strategy, addressing citizens’ expectations for energy security, green infrastructure, and a circular economy in Europe.