UK Battery Selling Regulations

Are you turned on to UK battery selling regulations? If your business sells or supplies more than 32 kg of batteries a year, then you need to offer a free takeback service for batteries. This will apply to many businesses who might not think they are big suppliers of batteries, as selling an average of one packet of 4 AA batteries each day would mean that you had sold 32kg. The battery take back rules apply to shops and retailers, whether their business is online or in a bricks and mortar shop. Businesses who supply batteries to other businesses also need to comply, so this may mean having a collection point in your warehouse or depot.

So what exactly do you need to provide to comply with the battery takeback rules? Essentially you need to provide a collection point in your business that can be visited by consumers to deposit their used batteries. There needs to be signage to allow people to locate the collection point easily. WRAP (Waste Resources and Action Programme) are a charity who work with businesses to increase recycling and reduce waste. They have some standard signs available to use on your battery collection point. Their posters are simple and to the point, with a magenta background and a picture of a battery alongside a recycling logo. You will also need a receptacle for the brought back batteries, i.e. a battery recycling bin or box. The free options tend to be fairly basic cardboard boxes but these are fine, as the batteries will be sealed. If you want a more stylish or robust container, then there are bright pink plastic bins available to match the Wrap posters, although you are likely to have to pay for one of these.

Any sealed battery that can be carried easily by one person will need to have facilities to be taken back. This includes not just your average AAA, AA or 9v batteries, but also rechargeable batteries including phone or laptop batteries. Other commonly found batteries that need to be catered for include those for small and large electrical items like small vacuum cleaners, electric toothbrushes, watches and even hearing aids. It is important to remember that it's not just batteries that you sell that you will need to accept for take back, as consumers can use the collection point to deposit any of their batteries from the categories above. You do not need to provide take back facilities for large batteries like those found in cars, motorbikes, boats or industrial machinery.

The end disposal of the collected batteries can be organised at no cost to your business, by a battery compliance scheme, which can be found be looking online. In fact you should not transport the collected batteries yourself, as you would need a waste carrier certificate to do this. For more details of the battery collection rules, then contact the National Measurement and Regulation Office Enforcement Service.