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Ministers have published details of the Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations which come into force in on September 26.

All producers of batteries sold on the UK market will have to comply with the regulations, which aim to prevent pollution from mercury and cadmium in waste batteries.

It will also introduce a labelling regime ahead of legislation that will make producers responsible for dealing with waste batteries.

Ministers said the regulations will make it easier for compliant batteries to be sold across the EU, as well as reducing their impact on the environment.

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said: “Our battery regulations add to the measures that this Government has put in place to reduce the impact of waste products on the environment.

“They represent a big first step towards implementing the Batteries Directive as a whole and provide positive contribution to the workings of the Internal Market and provide a foundation for reducing the environmental impact of the many millions of portable, industrial and automotive batteries used in the UK each year.”

All batteries and accumulators sold in the UK – regardless of their type or where in the world they are manufactured – will be affected.

The use of mercury and cadmium will be restricted in most cases, and batteries will have to carry the chemical symbols for lead, mercury or cadmium if they have been used.

A label with a crossed out wheelie bin will also have to be used and certain appliances will have to be designed to make it easier to remove waste batteries.

An enforcement authority is set to be appointed by the Department for Business.

Kate Martin

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