Context: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change published the Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022 to ensure environmentally sound management of waste batteries and replace the Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001.
Relevance: Prelims- Current Affairs of National and International Importance.
Mains: Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022
- Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India published the Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022 on 24th August 2022 to ensure environmentally sound management of waste batteries.
- Notification of these rules is a transformative step towards implementation of the announcement made by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his address to the Nation on Independence Day on 15th August 2021 to promote the Circular Economy in full earnest.
- New rules will replace Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001.
- The rules cover all types of batteries, viz. Electric Vehicle batteries, portable batteries, automotive batteries, and industrial batteries.
- The rules function based on the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) where the producers (including importers) of batteries are responsible for the collection and recycling/refurbishment of waste batteries and the use of recovered materials from wastes into new batteries.
- EPR mandates that all waste batteries be collected and sent for recycling/refurbishment, and its prohibits disposal in landfills and incineration.
- To meet the EPR obligations, producers may engage themselves or authorize any other entity for the collection, recycling, or refurbishment of waste batteries.
- The rules will enable the setting up of a mechanism and centralized online portal for the exchange of EPR certificates between producers and recyclers/refurbishers to fulfill the obligations of producers.
- The rules promote the setting up of new industries and entrepreneurship in the collection and recycling/refurbishment of waste batteries.
Basel Convention: It controls the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.
New Battery Waste Management Rules Concerns:
- It does not mandate the use of labeling for reflecting the carbon footprint of the battery.
- This would have made their environmental impact more transparent and reflective.
Conclusion: The advent of new technologies to control the impact of climate change is not necessarily without challenges. Therefore, these challenges must be acknowledged in advance and measures must be taken to reduce their negative impact.