Skip to content

Tackling poor lead recycling in developing countries

  • ILA’s Dr Steve Binks briefed policymakers and industry on the critical role of responsible sourcing at the international Lead Zinc Study Group in Lisbon.

The title of the discussion at a meeting of the International Lead Zinc Study Group seminar in Lisbon was responsible sourcing of base metals – latest developments.

I provided an update on Lead Battery 360°, the responsible lead battery production initiative launched by ILA, BCI, EUROBAT and ABR. 

When recycled using measures that protect human health and the environment, waste lead batteries can be the major source of battery grade raw materials for new battery manufacturing. 

This circular economy is unique in the battery sector and is the goal for other chemistries that today rely almost entirely on sourcing virgin raw materials from mining.

Regrettably, poor lead battery recycling practices in some regions are still the source of significant pollution and Lead Battery 360° was developed to highlight how this can be avoided by the adoption of seven guiding principles

During my presentation I highlighted how commitments to responsible sourcing practices can encourage lead battery recycling operations in low and middle income countries to improve their environmental, health and safety performance as lead battery manufactures in the developed world look to new sources of recycled lead to fuel increased demand.