by ERP Ireland

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The European Recycling Platform (ERP), Ireland’s only pan-European compliance scheme, today celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the EU Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC in Ireland. ERP has collected over 1,809 tonnes of batteries across all of its territories since the Directive was launched in 2008. The amount collected in Clare over the last 10 years is the equivalent of 1.25 times the length of the Wild Atlantic Way or if stacked upright – 15,300 times the height of the Cliff of Moher.

In 2012, European member states were tasked with achieving a collection rate of 25% of all waste portable batteries placed on the market. The target increased to 45% in 2016. ERP is delighted to announce that in 2017, it surpassed the EU target with a collection rate of 64%.

Batteries for Barretstown Minehan Family from Clare
Batteries for Barretstown Minehan Family from Clare

Encouraging people to recycle their batteries Karen Foley, Environmental Awareness Officer from Clare County Council said: “Recycling batteries is a great way to help protect the environment. Recycling enables us to retain as much of a product as possible and put back into the market place for reuse in new products. It is about viewing waste as a valuable resource so that we can limit what we are taking from the environment to make new products and thus sustaining future generations.”

Commenting on ERP’s success surpassing the EU collection rate, Martin Tobin, CEO, said: “Since the launch of the EU Waste Battery Directive in September 2008, ERP has worked hard to establish a robust collection infrastructure and has created programmes like ‘Batteries for Barretstown’ to change the nation’s attitude towards recycling waste batteries. I am delighted to announce that in the ten years since the Directive was launched, ERP has collected 1,809 tonnes of batteries which is the equivalent in weight to 92 million AA batteries, 45 Boeing 737s or 1,121 Irish rugby teams!

I would like to thank all the stakeholders involved, our members, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, the Producer Register, the EPA, local authorities, waste contractors and the general public. Consumers are increasingly more environmentally aware and in the past ten years we have seen peoples’ recycling activities change for the better. We can do more, however, to divert batteries being unnecessarily sent to landfill, in a bid to drive a sustainable circular economy and protect the environment.”

In 2017, ERP Ireland launched ‘Batteries for Barretstown’ to drive the recycling of batteries across Ireland through local authorities, schools, libraries, retailers and all public amenities whilst communicating the importance of recycling batteries responsibly, and raising much-needed funds to power positivity at Barretstown. Funds raised by the ‘Batteries for Barretstown’ campaign are helping to power positivity by funding the charity’s energy costs. Since the campaign was launched last year, ERP has already seen an increase in collections by almost 45%.

To mark the success of the ‘Batteries for Barretstown’ campaign and the EU Batteries Directive, ERP has launched its Battery Recycling Bag. The biodegradable bag will be distributed to schools, libraries and retailers for people to gather up their batteries at home for recycling.