The transition from the linear economy model, in which we produce, buy, use and dispose of goods, to the circular economy model, in which the materials contained in end-of-life products are recovered to be reintroduced into new production cycles, entails a commitment also on the part of Producers.
For this reason, the European legislation on batteries and accumulators is founded on the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), namely a responsibility that extends to the entire life cycle of the product, including post-consumption recycling. In fact, under such principle Producers of batteries and accumulators are also responsible for the environmental effects of their products throughout their life cycle.
The objective of the legislation is on the one hand economic, intended to finance the management of waste streams and ensuring the transport and treatment of WBA, and on the other design, to encourage the development of devices already oriented towards re-use, recycling and recovery.
The European legislation, Directive 2006/66/EC, forms therefore the basis for national directives and aims to provide Member States with guidelines for the creation and sustenance of a WBA management system focused on:
the prevention of the production of such waste;
the promotion of re-use, recycling and recovery;
the improvement, from an environmental point of view, of the life cycle of the devices;
the reduction of the use of hazardous substances in batteries and accumulators.
Italian Legislative Decree 188/2008 incorporates the European Directive 2006/66/EC, with the aim of protecting the environment and human health and defining measures and procedures necessary for the improvement, prevention and reduction of the negative impacts deriving from the production of batteries and accumulators and their waste.