EU Council Adopts Comprehensive Battery Regulation for Sustainability

2 minute read / August 21, 2023

The European Council has given its seal of approval to a ground-breaking regulation aimed at boosting the environmental impact of batteries and waste batteries. This regulation will oversee the entire lifecycle of batteries, from their production to their recycling, ensuring safety, sustainability, and competitiveness.

Teresa Ribera, the Spanish Minister for the Ecological Transition, highlighted the crucial role that batteries play in decarbonization and the transition to emission-free transportation. This regulation not only promotes the competitiveness of European industry but also encourages the development of sustainable batteries.

The scope of this regulation covers all types of batteries, including waste portable batteries, electric vehicle batteries, and industrial batteries. Its main focus is on achieving a circular economy by setting ambitious end-of-life targets, which include increased collection and recovery goals.

Among the key targets set by this regulation are the collection of 63% of waste portable batteries by 2027, with that goal rising to 73% by 2030. Additionally, there is a target of recovering 50% of lithium from waste batteries by 2027, which will increase to 80% by 2031.

This regulation also establishes minimum recycled content levels for different types of batteries, including cobalt, lead, lithium, and nickel. It introduces stricter criteria for performance, safety, and labelling, along with the implementation of QR codes and electronic “battery passports”.

Furthermore, this regulation mandates that operators conduct due diligence to ensure responsible sourcing of raw materials, with some exemptions provided for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

By adopting this regulation, an important milestone has been reached. Once it is signed and published, it will reshape the batteries sector, contributing significantly to a more sustainable future.