India issued a draft notification, Battery Waste Management Rules, 2020 blueprinting a national policy for different types of battery recycling. The policy was drafted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and issued late in February.
Battery scrap contains hazardous material that harms the environment. To reduce these impacts, the Indian government has drafted regulation which the market participants will have to adhere to.
The regulations apply on batteries listed under Schedule-1, irrespective of shape, volume, material and composition and/or use. There are two types of batteries under Schedule-I, primary cells which are non-rechargeable batteries and secondary cells or chargeable batteries.
Zinc chloride batteries, Alkaline, aluminium-air batteries are primary cells while flow battery, lithium-ion polymer and lithium-air battery fall under are categorized under secondary cells. It is the responsibility of the importers, manufacturers, assemblers to make sure that the used batteries are collected only against new batteries that were sold. Collection centres used batteries from consumers or dealers are to be set up and it would be the responsibility of manufacturers and dealers to collect and send this battery scrap to recycling centres post verification and environmental clearance. In the case of lead-acid batteries, they should not be drained.
The proposed draft states that no one can sell a battery that contains mercury in excess of 0.0005pc (5 ppm) by weight. A portable battery that contains more than 0.002pc cadmium is also banned. No one can sell a battery pack or a battery marked with a symbol of “crosses-out wheeled bin symbol”
India has plans to develop a central recycling facility with annual capacity of 10,000mt for recyclers. Import of new batteries will go through customs clearance and the battery should contain importer’s code.
The draft excludes batteries used in medical equipment, war materials, emergency alarm systems and space exploration.