In 2003, the Basel Secretariat published the ‘Technical Guidelines for the Environmentally Sound Management of Waste Lead-acid Batteries’, which provides a comprehensive overview of the proper management of used lead batteries. In December 2020, the World Economic Forum (WEF) in partnership with Pure Earth, the International Lead Association and the Responsible Battery Coalition published a white paper entitled ‘Consequences of a Mobile Future: Creating an Environmentally Conscious Life Cycle for Lead-Acid Batteries’, which provides an updated overview of the factors associated with improper management and recommendations to establish environmentally sound management. Building on these recommendations, the UNEP Basel Convention Training Manual has been revised and is due to be formally adopted by the Basel Secretariat in 2022.
Although not legally-binding, they provide the foundation upon which countries can operate at a standard ensuring the environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes. The Manual provides practical advice and guidance to national authorities for the development of a national or regional framework as well as a range of methodologies and field-tested tools to support governments in identifying the most appropriate policies and strategies to develop and maintain a financially viable as well as and environmentally sound national or regional used lead battery recycling sector.