Recommendations from a G7 workshop co-hosted by the EU and the USA and sponsored by the German government include LeadBattery360° as an example of an effective industry initiative helping tackle the problem of informal lead battery recycling in low and middle-income countries.
At a G7 meeting in May 2022, ministers highlighted problems associated with lead pollution in countries with lower regulatory and environmental standards.
They tasked a workshop with reviewing effective measures to make recommendations designed help tackle the issue.
The workshop’s recommendations and final report have now been published highlighting unsafe battery recycling as a cause for concern.
It recommends greater transparency in global value chains “to help ensure that the lead in their products has not come from sources produced or recycled in an unsafe manner.”
The report calls for “much-improved transparency mechanisms in value chains – with validated, authenticated information on provenance of recycled lead to be used for batteries and other products.
“These can build on existing and developing digital technologies for product passports for other materials, and industry transparency programmes, such as LeadBattery360 ; the work of the International Lead Association and the Global Battery Alliance.”
Dr Steve Binks, ILA’s Director responsible for material stewardship, who attended the workshop in Berlin, welcomed the findings. He said: “The G7 report picks up many of the guiding principles we have established as part of LeadBattery360°, our stewardship programme. And it highlights the key role of international co-operation and government action to help eliminate informal and unsafe lead battery recycling in low and middle-income countries.”
The G7 report also highlights the importance of best practice manuals such as the Basel technical guidelines on environmentally sound management of waste lead batteries which is currently being updated and was an agenda item at the Thirteenth meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG-13) that took place from 21 to 23 February 2023.