Old Batteries New Rules

Old Batteries New Rules it takes two giant leaps to have an effective law. One leap to legislate. Another to enforce. In the case of regulating recycling of lead acid batteries, India has taken the first step. The government, on May 25, 2000, notified the draft of the Battery (Management and Handling) Rules under the Environment Protection Act of 1986. In a month, claims the government, the rules will be enforced.

Why such concern about the recycling industry? Because lead poisoning can have adverse, even lethal, consequences (see box: Leading a leaded life ).
What the rules say The rules fix up responsibilities for manufacturers, importers, assemblers, re-conditioners and consumers of lead acid batteries. Under the rules, it will be the responsibility of each of them, barring the consumer, to ensure that the number of used batteries collected is equal to the number of new batteries sold. They will be required to file returns, set up collection centres and ensure that collected batteries are sent to authorised recyclers, only in absence of an in-house facility. They will also have to ensure that no damage to the environment occurs during transportation and reprocessing. Each recycler will have to register with the ministry of environment and forests ( mef) to legally reprocess batteries. The batteries thus collected will be recycled only by the units that have the requisite environmentally sound managed ( esm ) plants. It will be the responsibility of mef to inspect such plants.

The lead recovered from reprocessing will have to be labelled

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