The European Parliament has adopted aggressive recycling requirements for batteries. The new rules include a mandate for battery makers to meet certain levels of recycled content for critical minerals found in batteries, such as cobalt, lithium and nickel. For example, 16 percent of cobalt in batteries will need to come from recycled sources by 2031. Another far-reaching requirement will be the easy replaceability of batteries in consumer devices. The European Council still needs to endorse the regulations.
“For the first time, we have circular economy legislation that covers the entire life cycle of a product – an approach that’s good for both the environment and the economy. We agreed on measures that greatly benefit consumers: batteries will be well-functioning, safer and easier to remove. Our overall aim is to build a stronger EU recycling industry, particularly for lithium, and a competitive industrial sector as a whole, which is crucial in the coming decades for our continent’s energy transition and strategic autonomy. These measures could become a benchmark for the entire global battery market,” says EU Parliamentarian Achille Variati.