Southern Europe

Iberia

Spain and Portugal have mostly applied the recommendations given by the EU Commission. The national legislations are, in most parts, a direct translation of the related EU directives. The laws transposing the relevant regulations can be found in the Appendix section. In both Spain and Portugal, several revisions have been conducted. The reports issued by the EU Commission and the European Portable Battery Association (EPBA) show that the two countries could reach most targets [1], [2]. In Spain, the Autonomous Communities and local authorities are responsible for implementing national laws individually. 

The battery industry implemented collection schemes in the form of non-profit organizations, with the main players being Ecopilas in Spain and Ecopilhas in Portugal. Since then collection rates increased steadily. The collection rates were 38% for Spain and 39% for Portugal in 2017 [3] - a level below the required rate of 45% proposed by the EU. Once collected, batteries are destined for recycling. Export to third countries is possible provided that the EU legislation on the shipment of such waste is respected and the recycling facilities overseas comply with EU regulations.

According to the latest information, both countries only export to EU member states [2]. Spain has two members of the European Battery Recycling Association (EBRA); Envirobat and Recypilas. Envirobat is one of the major players for Li-ion battery recycling in the European market. In an interview with one of EBRA’s experts, it was mentioned that Envirobat started to be active in the recycling of EV batteries. The company is also participating in the CarE-Service project, working on circular-economy business models based on advanced mobility services that exploit hybrid and electric vehicles, including the re-use of EoL batteries [4].

There are a significant number of battery manufacturers, especially in the Spanish market, mostly focused on lead-acid batteries. In terms of EV-related markets, Seat SA owns a manufacturing plant in the Barcelona region. Seat SA is currently producing a number of EVs and hybrid models. In addition, there are several EV startups in Spain; however, those usually cater to niche applications. Portugal currently shows no activity in this account. 

Italy

In Italy, the European Directive was transposed into the national law through legislative decrees (Table 4 in Appendix) [2]. These decrees detail the collection schemes, economic instruments, increasing environmental performance, collection, treatment and disposal targets, including information for end users and penalties for noncompliance. 

According to Articles 6 and 7 of Legislative Decree No 188/2008 producers, or consortia such as Remedia, which acts on their behalf, are required to set up, manage and bear the costs for an individual collection system for portable batteries and a separate one for automotive and industrial batteries. For waste portable batteries, specifically, the collection is required to be organized indirectly through the public waste collection services and directly collecting the batteries from the distributors. The waste batteries from the industrial and automotive sectors need to be collected by the producers, or third parties acting on their behalf, directly from the distributors and professional users. Similar to France, the largest hurdle in Li-ion battery collection and recycling in Italy is the lack of a proper definition of this battery and segregation from “other” battery types in the national legislations [5].

References:

[1] European Commission, “Report on implementation of batteries directive.” 2019.

[2] European Comission, “Final Implementation Report for the Directive 2006/66/EC on Batteries and Accumulators.” 07-Oct-2015.

[3] EPBA, “The collection of waste portable batteries in Europe in view of the achievability of the collection targets set by Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC.” .

[4] “CarE-Service – Innovative Circular Economy Business Models based on advanced mobility services.” [Online]. Available: http://www.careserviceproject.eu/. [Accessed: 30-Oct-2019].

[5] European Commission, “Study in support of the preparation of the Implementation report on Directive 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators,” European Commission , Final Report, May 2018.

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