The Directive on Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators (Batteries Directive) aims to reduce the environmental impact of a wide range of batteries and accumulators placed on the market within the EU. The Directive achieves this objective by restricting the levels of certain hazardous substances in the products concerned and by setting targets for their recycling. The Directive also imposes product labelling requirements.
The Directive applies to virtually all battery types from button cells to industrial batteries including those supplied in products. There are certain exemptions allowed e. g. those used in emergency and fire alarms, medical equipment, those designed exclusively for military systems and equipment intended for space applications.
|Substance/Substance group||Maximum allowable concentration:|
|Cadmium||0.002% by weight|
|Mercury||0.0005% by weight|
The Directive requires product information to be provided by appropriate labelling, e.g. for proper disposal of the waste battery. Also, batteries containing more than 0.002% cadmium by weight (where permitted) and/or more than 0.0005% mercury by weight (where permitted) and more than 0.004% lead by weight must be labelled to indicate the heavy metal concerned. The Directive also specifies the dimensions of the labels to be affixed to the products which depend on the battery type/size.
The aims of the RoHS and Batteries Directives are similar and the mechanisms used to achieve these goals include restricting the amounts of certain hazardous substances incorporated in the products. Manufacturers, importers and retailers of EEE and batteries covered by the Directives must ensure they only offer compliant products. However, the Directives differ in certain ways as outlined below.
|RoHS Directive||Batteries Directive|
|Scope (general):||Electrical and Electronic Equipment||Batteries and accumulators only|
Cadmium, Chromium VI, Lead, Mercury, Phthalates (DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP),
Polybrominated Biphenyls, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers.
|Level of application:||Component/Homogenous material||Total product weight.|
The following are some of the additional requirements under the RoHS Directive