Manufacturing News

B-cycle report reveals promising national battery collection rate

B-cycle battery recycling

Australia’s official government-backed battery recycling scheme, B-cycle, has released its first performance report, which highlights the rapid scale and pace of the innovative product stewardship scheme.

The scheme has doubled the national collection rate of loose batteries and power tool batteries since its launch in February this year, recycling the equivalent of 38 million AA batteries in its first six months.

Founded by the Battery Stewardship Council (BSC), a not-for-profit organisation, B-cycle aims to combat one of the nation’s fastest-growing waste streams by providing drop-off points for people to safely and conveniently recycle everyday loose batteries.

B-cycle’s Positive Charge report reveals that in six months:

  • B-cycle has significantly increased consumer access to battery recycling by establishing 3,200 drop-off points across all states and territories
  • The scheme has collected over 918,000 kilograms of used batteries from across Australia
  • Australians are increasingly motivated to recycle their used batteries; with the B-cycle website servicing over 65,000 unique searches for the closest B-cycle drop-off point
  • B-cycle has seen impressive participation with over 100 organisations participating including 48 importers and 28 retailers
  • B-cycle continues to attract leading industry brands
  • An estimated 90 per cent of loose battery imports are now covered by the scheme

B-cycle CEO Libby Chaplin attributes the scheme’s expansive progress to their open-source model, which involves everyone in the supply chain, from battery brands and retailers, to drop-off points and recyclers.

“Our membership uptake points towards a paradigm shift in product stewardship, which has shown that rapid change can occur when an entire industry is mobilised to participate, rather than relying on the traditional service provider approach,” explained Chaplin.

“Not only are we helping our members deliver their corporate social responsibility objectives, feedback confirms the scheme is helping them attract more customers. We’re also addressing the growing scarcity of battery metals and the importance of investing in a strong recycling sector that is able to secure quality materials for future generations.”

By engaging over 90 per cent of Australia’s loose battery and power tool battery brands, B-cycle is seeing that all batteries collected are recycled, with robust traceability and accreditation for all participants.

Milwaukee Tools’ Group managing director, Michael Brendle said, “B-cycle’s independent accreditation and rigorous standards assure consumers that every end-of-life battery they recycle is remanufactured into new materials, and they are actively helping to improve the environment for future generations.”

Mariusz Surmacz, general manager for Duracell Australia, said, “Duracell recognises the importance of sustainability and is proud to be one of the founders of the ‘B-cycle’ Stewardship Scheme in Australia. In our sustainability journey, Duracell goes beyond the regular stewardship scheme.”

Chaplin concluded, “As the scheme nears one year of operation, we are focussing on expanding our network into these burgeoning sectors whilst improving safety in all aspects of the battery life cycle and setting Australia on the right course to match the recycling capabilities of global leaders.”

In the coming months, B-cycle said it will be releasing important research to understand life cycle impacts, assess the market, and evaluate the economics of the scheme.

To read the full Positive Charge report visit here.

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