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Ministers agree to work on handheld battery program

The Standing Council on Environment and Water (SCEW) met today and agreed to place end-of-life handheld batteries and waste paint on the Council’s Work Plan 2013/14 to progress action. The Council is made up of environment ministers from across Australia and New Zealand and a representative from the Australian Local Government Association.
The full Communique can be downloaded here.
The extract relating to batteries states that:
“Council agreed on the need to include end-of-life handheld batteries and waste paint on the Council’s work plan. More than 264 million handheld batteries reach the end of their useful life each year and the equivalent of 18,000 tonnes of paint require disposal each year. There could be significant environmental and community benefits to be gained from working with industry to find better management solutions for these products. Ministers asked officials to develop a work program and examine funding arrangements to progress these issues.”
This is a significant achievement for ABRI members (particularly the Handheld Battery Working Group) and our colleagues at Sustainability Victoria, NSW EPA and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection in Queensland. Over the next 12 months we will work closely with environment ministers and government officials on the best way to progress this at a national level in conjunction with manufacturers and retailers.