Regulatory framework

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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 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 Regulation (EU) 2023/1542 concerning batteries and waste batteries

Regulation (EU) 2023/1542 concerning batteries and waste batteries, which entered into force on 18 August 2023, repealed and replaced the European Batteries Directive (2006/66/EC) and is aimed at:

  • strengthen the functioning of the European market on strategic products for the energy transition;
  • promote the circular economy;
  • reduce the environmental and social impact in all phases of the battery life cycle.

The Regulation introduced targeted provisions for specific types of batteries and for different players in the value chain. The main changes are divided into four groups:

  • sustainability requirements to prevent and reduce the negative impacts of batteries on the environment. The requirements include, among other things, a carbon footprint statement, recycled content targets, and performance and durability parameters;
  • labeling, marking and information requirements to ensure transparency and enable battery recirculation. These requirements include, for example, the creation of an electronic exchange system for battery information (e.g. the “battery passport”);
  • supply chain due diligence requirements to promote the ethical sourcing of raw materials, in particular by requiring the creation and implementation of third-party verified due diligence policies;
  • end-of-life management requirements to improve the performance of Member States and the EU, including new targets for collection rates, recycling efficiency and material recovery.

Italian legislation

Italian Legislative Decree 188/2008 (still in force) 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.

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