The European Recycling Platform (ERP), Ireland’s only pan-European compliance scheme, is celebrating 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 its territories since the Directive was launched in 2008. The people of Kerry have recycled enough batteries over the last 10 years equivalent of 3,160 times the height of Carrantouhill – the highest mountain in Ireland; 300 times the length of the Gap of Dunloe or to fill the Sam Maguire Cup 7,339 times!
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%.
Encouraging people to recycle their batteries Oonagh O’Connor, Environmental Awareness Officer from Kerry County Council said: “ We are delighted to celebrate the success of the Batteries Directive in Ireland. Indeed, the impressive collection rates over the past decade demonstrates our commitment and I am delighted the residents of County Kerry are playing their part in recycling their batteries to help protect our environment.”
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.