Battery Manufacturers Duracell, EverReady, Panasonic

Did you know Australians use approximately 10,000 tonnes of domestic batteries each year? Almost all of these will end up in landfill and have the potential to contaminate soil and groundwater.

Even more importantly, batteries are RECYCLABLE. They contain valuable components such as cadmium and zinc, which, if recovered, can be reused in different products and diverted from landfill.

BatteryBack was set up by Sustainability Victoria to gather battery waste-stream information for the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI), who aims to develop an industry-wide, national level recycling programme for batteries funded voluntarily by the manufacturers themselves.

Battery recycling in Australia is not free – BatteryBack forwards on the collected batteries to the AusBatt Recycling service. AusBatt does not process enough batteries to fund their activities purely through the reclaimed materials as Australia is not a large enough supply. It is fiscally cheaper to produce batteries from virgin materials, however environmental and social costs are not considered and dumping used batteries in landfill is costing our environment dearly.

Batteryback is scheduled to terminate at the end of June 2011 (though you can still recycle your batteries through Battery World (http://recycling.batteryworld.com.au) and IKEA.) BatteryBack varies to other programs that recycle battery waste in that it aims to play a part in informing industry on the costs and operational requirements associated with running a take-back scheme. This is why it is vital we act to keep this programme going to support the ABRI in developing a national strategy to make battery recycling easily available to all Australians.

We believe, as the ABRI does, the costs involved in battery recycling should be covered by battery manufacturers. By asking manufacturers take environmental responsibility for their products we will be strengthening the most important part of the campaign for a national recycling model. If manufacturers do not believe people are concerned about battery recycling it is less likely they will voluntarily fund these programmes. It is by far the most powerful message we can send.

If manufacturers supported these measures, it would provide a sealed loop, protecting the environment and creating a higher initial battery cost, encouraging consumers to source out battery free alternatives or long-life, rechargeable battery electronics (for example, a camera that uses L-ion rather than 4 double a's).

Show your support by signing the petition below.

Learn more about the programmes here:

The ABRI's submission to the Waste Management Policy.

BatteryBack website hosted by ResourceSmart (a government website for Victorians containing information on how Victorians can minimise their impact on the planet).

AussBatt Recycling are the company through which Sustainability Victoria processed the batteries collected through the BatteryBack programme.

Sustainability Victoria. Select the 'Find A Service' Tab to locate BatteryBack (take a minute to check out the other programmes they run too.)

Dear battery brandowners,

We ask that you consider the environmental impact your products have on the planet and to provide support to those who are working towards sustainable battery recycling in Australia.

Batteries use finite resources and by recycling these batteries we will save valuable materials from being wasted. Battery recycling also diverts batteries from landfill and stop them from leaching toxic chemicals into soil and groundwater.

We believe you need to take responsibility for the 'cradle to grave' impact your products have by supporting the development of recycling programmes at both a local level such as BatteryBack and at a national level with ABRI.

This service is important to the community and provides a safe place for people to easily and freely recycle batteries that they do not want to end up in landfill.

Yours sincerely,

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The Support BatteryBack & Save The Planet! petition to Battery Manufacturers Duracell, EverReady, Panasonic was written by aToMik Green and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.