Stricter rules on the supply of batteries and accumulators for UK businesses were introduced in September 2008.
New regulations came into force in January 2010 that requires retailers selling batteries to provide collection and recycling facilities for their eventual disposal. The rules, part of the EU’s batteries directive, are meant to deal with the thousands of tonnes of harmful metals that pollute the environment when used batteries are burned or put into landfill. According to the Environment Agency, which will be among the organisations to enforce the new rules, the directive will “affect any business that uses, produces, supplies or disposes of batteries, as well as any business that manufactures or designs battery-powered products”. For consumers, everything from AAA cells to mobile phone batteries and button cells used in hearing aids and watches, must be separated from household rubbish and placed into designated recycling bins in shops or other recycling points.