How do developed countries treat used batteries?


Although the waste battery has little impact on the env […]

Although the waste battery has little impact on the environment, the mercury-containing waste battery has a negative impact on the environment, even a slight impact. Therefore, developed countries have paid great attention to controlling the mercury content in dry batteries earlier, and banned the production of batteries with mercury content greater than 0.025% by weight of the battery. In the early 1990s, the main developed countries achieved mercury-free batteries (with mercury content below 0.0001%), and have eliminated mercury-consuming processes such as caustic soda, acetic acid, and polyvinyl chloride, and mercury consumption. The volume is already very low.
Nie Yongfeng pointed out that at present, the United States, Japan, the European Union and other regions do not treat ordinary dry batteries used by people in daily life as hazardous waste, and there is no law for mandatory collection and disposal of ordinary dry batteries. A few countries' battery (sub) industry associations and cities have organized ordinary dry cell collection activities, but now such activities are rare.
Professor Nie said that in terms of battery management policies, developed countries can be roughly divided into two categories: the first category is for ordinary dry batteries. The government requires manufacturers to gradually reduce the mercury content in batteries, and ultimately bans the addition of mercury to batteries. This requirement is to eliminate all mercury-containing products and some processes, not just for the battery industry. There is no compulsory separate collection and disposal of ordinary batteries that are scrapped. If any city or enterprise voluntarily collects and disposes of them voluntarily, the state neither encourages nor restricts them.
The second type of policy is for rechargeable batteries. Pass legislation to require manufacturers to phase out cadmium batteries. Currently, nickel-metal hydride batteries and lithium batteries are gradually replacing nickel-cadmium batteries. In some countries, the Electronic Manufacturers Association has carried out recycling of rechargeable batteries, and the effect is quite remarkable. This is mainly because the total consumption of rechargeable batteries is relatively small, the application range is small, it is easy to collect and the recycling value is high.
From the perspective of foreign experience, the main measures to solve the pollution in the battery industry are to adjust the product structure and eliminate outdated processes and products, which is mandatory by the state. As for the collection, treatment or reuse of waste batteries, it is spontaneously carried out by industry associations, cities or enterprises. As for what to do in China, Nie Yongfeng believes that the environmental impact of waste batteries should be scientifically understood, and its hazards cannot be overstated. Relevant departments should focus on eliminating mercury-containing batteries. As for cities and enterprises that have conditions to carry out classified collection and processing, they can operate by themselves, and it is not appropriate for the state to impose mandatory requirements.
At the end of 1997, nine departments such as China National Light Industry Council and the State Economic and Trade Commission jointly issued the "Regulations on Restricting Mercury Content of Batteries", which required domestic battery manufacturers to gradually reduce the mercury content of batteries. , That is, the mercury content is less than 0.025% of the battery weight; in 2006, the mercury-free level was reached, that is, the mercury content was less than 0.0001% of the battery weight. Professor Nie Yongfeng said that from the actual progress, the domestic battery manufacturing industry basically reduced the mercury content of batteries in accordance with the "Regulations". According to reports, China's annual battery production is 18 billion, of which domestic consumption is about 8 billion, and exports About 10 billion. These batteries have all reached low mercury standards, of which about 2 billion have reached mercury-free standards. However, the mercury content of some counterfeit and inferior batteries on the market may not meet the low mercury standard, and the total sales of these batteries cannot be estimated at present.

Nie Yongfeng believes that at present the market should first strengthen spot checks to force the prohibition of the circulation of high-mercury batteries in the market. Penalties are imposed on enterprises that continue to sell and produce batteries that exceed the standard, and those who find that the mercury content of the battery exceeds the standard must not only confiscate the inferior battery and impose a fine, but also trace the responsibility of the wholesaler and producer. At the same time, it is necessary to mobilize social forces to report companies that sell and produce inferior batteries through rewarding reporting activities. Secondly, when carrying out collection activities, some units and individuals should properly keep them and hand them over to units that have storage and handling conditions. It is not advisable to collect waste batteries on a large scale until there are no eligible disposal or utilization facilities. For the waste batteries that have been collected so far, the municipal sanitation department should arrange the sites for centralized storage in units of cities, and then dispose of or use the facilities after the conditions are completed. Nie Yongfeng reminded those enterprises that wish to recycle zinc, manganese, iron and other metals from the perspective of resource conservation. Like other waste comprehensive utilization projects, the non-metallic recycling industry is affected by the fluctuation of raw material market prices, and the downstream demand has a greater impact. The use of waste dry batteries may not make ends meet within a certain period of time. Under market economy conditions, the government is not allowed to subsidize companies that use waste batteries. Therefore, the recycling of waste batteries can only adhere to the principle of voluntary companies. However, the recycling facilities for mercury-containing batteries should be built in sparsely populated and environmentally insensitive areas. At the same time, the technical management level should be relatively advanced and the scale should be large. Never use a simple workshop-style utilization plant.

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