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Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022: A Comprehensive Approach

MARCH 27, 2023

By Anshul Mittal, Partner, RSA Legal Solutions

BATTERY waste management is a significant concern in India due to the increasing use of batteries in various applications. To manage this issue, the Indian government introduced the Battery Management and Handling Rules of 2001, which primarily focused on lead-acid batteries.

Scope and Key Features of the 2001 Battery Management Rules:

The 2001 Rules applied to a broad range of parties involved in the manufacture, processing, sale, purchase, and use of lead-acid batteries or their components. The key features of the 2001 rules included:

- Restrictions on the use of lead in batteries

- Obligation on manufacturers to provide detailed information on the composition and disposal of batteries

- Authorization and registration requirements for battery manufacturers, re-furbishers, recyclers, and dealers

- Obligation on consumers to return used batteries to authorized dealers for proper disposal

Scope and Key Features of the 2022 Battery Waste Management Rules:

The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change in India implemented the Battery Waste Management Rules in 2022 to replace the 2001 Battery Management and Handling Rules. The new rules apply to all types of batteries regardless of their chemistry, shape, volume, weight, material composition, and use. The key features of the 2022 rules include:

- Extended producer responsibility (EPR) on battery producers

- Centralized online portal for the authorization process

- Obligation on producers, dealers, consumers, entities involved in the collection, segregation, transportation, refurbishment, and recycling of waste batteries

- EPR plan submission by producers to CPCB in Form 1C by 30th June of every year

- EPR targets for different batteries used across various applications

Implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in the Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022:

The main highlight of the Battery Waste Management Rules 2022 is extended producer responsibility, which was previously limited to e-waste and plastic waste management. The producers will have to file for authorization through the centralized online portal of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and fulfill their EPR responsibility through the policy of buyback, deposit refund schemes or any other model. The producers can delegate the responsibility to other entities for proper and environmentally sustainable collection, segregation, recycling, or refurbishing of waste batteries. The EPR plan, which contains the details of the weight, quantity, and other information about the batteries, should be submitted by the producers to CPCB in Form 1C by 30th June of every year through the centralized online portal.

The newly amended rules introduce many provisions, including new key definitions, more responsibilities, EPR authorization, and a centralized online portal for the authorization process. The rules expand the responsibilities of the producers, manufacturers, and authorities involved in the management of waste batteries. The key stakeholders in the rules are producers, recyclers, re-furbishers, other entities, and the CPCB, which defines the fee of handling, application for registration, and registration process.

EPR Plan and Targets for Waste Battery Management

The EPR plan for 2022 and 2023 is also required to be submitted under Form 1C to the CPCB. The plan includes EPR targets for different batteries used across various applications. Failure to comply with EPR responsibilities can result in penalties for stakeholders such as manufacturers, recyclers, and re-furbishers, among others. Non-compliance includes activities carried out without obtaining the necessary authorization or registration or providing false information in documents.

Penalties and Consequences for Non-Compliance with EPR Responsibilities

The penalties for non-compliance with EPR responsibilities are specified under Section 15 of the Environmental Protection Act of 1986. The stakeholders in violation of the EPR rule will be fined and required to pay environmental compensation. The amount of compensation will be decided by the CPCB or State Pollution Control Board (SPCB).

Conclusion

The Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022 represent a more comprehensive and updated approach to managing the increasing amount of battery waste in India. It is crucial for producers to take responsibility for the products they manufacture, ensuring their safe and sustainable disposal. EPR plans provide a framework for producers to manage the environmental impacts of their products effectively. By complying with EPR regulations, producers can contribute to creating a sustainable future while avoiding penalties and negative impacts on the environment.

[The views expressed are strictly personal.]

(DISCLAIMER : The views expressed are strictly of the author and Taxindiaonline.com doesn't necessarily subscribe to the same. Taxindiaonline.com Pvt. Ltd. is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage caused to anyone due to any interpretation, error, omission in the articles being hosted on the site)

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