The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (“MoEFCC”), through a notification in the official gazette dated 20th February, 2020, has issued the Draft Battery Waste Management Rules, 2020 (“Draft Rules”), which is proposing to supersede the Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001.
Objections/suggestions have been invited till 20th April, 2020. Objections/suggestions can be sent in writing through post to the Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, Jor Bagh Road, New Delhi-110003, or electronically at email address: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Draft Rules brings under its ambit, all manufacturers, producers, collection centres, importers, re-conditioners, re-furbishers, dismantlers, assemblers, dealers, recyclers, auctioneers, vehicle service centres, consumer and bulk consumers involved in manufacture, processing, sale, purchase, collection, storage, re-processing and use of batteries or components thereof including their components, consumables and spare parts which make the product operational.
- All types of batteries as mentioned in Schedule-I of the Draft Rules get covered under it, regardless of their shape, volume, weight, material composition or use. However, the Draft Rules exempt batteries used in:
- Equipment connected with the protection of the essential security interests such as arms;
- Ammunitions and war material, and intended specifically for military purposes;
- Equipment designed to be sent into space (space exploration);
- Emergency and alarm systems;
- Emergency lighting; and
- Medical Equipment.
- Prohibitions under the Draft Rules:
- No person can place in the market, a battery that contains more than 0.0005% (5 ppm) of mercury by weight (except a button cell with mercury content of not more than 2% by weight).
- No person can place in the market, a portable battery that contains more than 0.002% of cadmium by weight (except emergency and alarm systems including emergency lighting, medical equipment or a cordless power tool marked with crossed out wheeled bin symbol).
- No person can place on the market any battery or battery pack unless it is marked with the “crossed out wheeled bin symbol” as shown in Schedule II of the Draft Rules covering at least 5% of the area of the largest side of the battery or battery pack.
- In the case of cylindrical cells, the crossed out wheeled bin symbol shall cover at least 2% of the surface area of the battery or battery pack.
- Where the size of the battery or battery pack is such that the crossed out wheeled bin symbol would be smaller than 0.5 x 0.5 centimeters, the battery or battery pack need not be marked but a crossed out wheeled bin symbol measuring at least 1 x 1 centimeter has to be printed on the packaging.
- The crossed out wheeled bin symbol has to be printed visibly, legibly and indelibly.
- No person can place on the market-
- i)a button cell containing more than 0.0005% of mercury by weight unless it is marked with the chemical symbol “Hg”;
- ii)a battery containing more than 0.002% of cadmium by weight unless it is marked with the chemical symbol “Cd”;
iii) a battery containing more than 0.004% of lead by weight unless it is marked with the chemical symbol “Pb”.
- Responsibilities for manufacturers, importers, assemblers and re-conditioners, under the Draft Rules are:
- To ensure that the used batteries are collected back as per the Schedule (given in the Draft Rules) against new batteries sold excluding those sold to original equipment manufacturer and bulk consumers;
- To ensure that used batteries collected back are of similar type and specifications as that of the new batteries sold;
- File annual return of their sales and buy-back to the State Board in Form- 1 (to be notified later) latest by 31st December of every year;
- To set up collection centres either individually or jointly at various places for collection of used batteries from consumers or dealers;
- To ensure that used batteries collected are sent only to the registered recyclers;
- To ensure that necessary arrangements are made with dealers for safe transportation from collection centres to the premises of registered recyclers;
- To ensure that no damage to the environment occurs during transportation of used batteries and no acid is drained in case of used lead acid batteries;
- To create public awareness through advertisements, publications, posters or by other means with regard to the following-
- i)Hazards of Lead, Cadmium, Mercury and other elements;
- ii)Obligation of consumers to return their used batteries only to the dealers or deliver at collection centres;
iii) Addresses of dealers and collection centres;
- iv)Information on hazards of improper handling, disposal, accidental breakage, damage or improper recycling of batteries;
- v)Instructions for handling and disposal of the equipment after its use, along with the Do’s and Don’ts.
- To use the international recycling sign on the Batteries;
- To buy recycled lead and other elements only from registered recyclers;
- To bring to the notice of the State Board or the MoEFCC, any violation by the dealers;
- To ensure that the new batteries are sold only to the dealers, bulk consumers and Original Equipment Manufacturers registered with CPCB or any agency designated by it.
- Additionally, the specific responsibilities of various classes of persons such as Manufacturer, producer, dealer, recycler, consumer, bulk consumer, auctioneer, importer, dismantler have been outlined in the Draft Rules.