The European Commission has published a final report on the evaluation of Directive 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators.

One main objective of the Batteries Directive is to minimise the negative impact of batteries and waste batteries on the environment. The other main objective is the smooth functioning of the single European market.

The directive has been evaluated to address its legal, environmental, and economic and social aspects with regard to five evaluation criteria: relevance; effectiveness; efficiency; coherence; and EU-added value, and included a public consultation.

The study concludes that the waste battery collection within the EU is insufficient; a large amount of batteries end up in municipal waste. Other losses of batteries occur due to the insufficient practice of battery removal from waste electrical and electronic equipment. Improving and increasing collection needs to be at the highest priority of the revision of the Batteries Directive.

Furthermore, while effectively all stakeholders agree that the directive supports the functioning of the single European market, the directive is not well adapted to new developments, in particular concerning Li-ion batteries and battery re-use. Li-ion batteries for electric mobility and for decentralised power storage, for which the greatest growth is predicted, currently fall under the category of industrial batteries. For this category, the Batteries Directive does not specify collection targets, minimum collection infrastructure requirements, reporting requirements or extended producer responsibility. The recycling targets for waste Li-ion batteries are too low and are also not material-specific, as it would be necessary to prevent potential supply risks resources and to support the reduction of environmental impacts. A main shortcoming regarding consumer information is that end-users do not have enough information to make an informed purchase regarding better battery performance.

Study in Support of Evaluation of the Directive 2006/66/EC on Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators is available online.

Last reviewed 13 March 2019