The Battery Stewardship Scheme (BSS) is a national battery collection network that will:
- increase the recovery and recycling of end-of-life hand-held batteries
- minimise the environmental health and safety impact of waste batteries, many of which currently go to landfill
- raise awareness of battery safety, storage, drop-off and disposal options for consumers
- develop an efficient and innovative domestic battery recycling industry. Recovered batteries and their valuable resources will be reused to produce new batteries or other products.
Hand-held batteries covered by the BSS include:
- button batteries
- batteries that can be replaced by consumers, for example, AA or AAA batteries.
Everyone in the battery supply chain has a role to play in the BSS including:
- battery importers
- battery retailers
- waste collectors, recyclers and processors.
BSS membership comprises companies across the battery supply chain.
How it works
The BSS is a national voluntary scheme designed to encourage recycling and better waste management of end-of-life batteries. It has been authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The BSS operates through imposing a levy on imported batteries. This is passed on to consumers in battery prices.
The levy is used to fund rebates for BSS accredited collectors, processors and recyclers of used batteries.
Scheme participants agree to work primarily only with other members in the scheme to:
- reduce free riders benefitting from the scheme without contributing to its costs
- provide assurance that used batteries are responsibly managed and recycled through to end-of-life.
As a consumer, you have a key role to play. Make sure you correctly dispose of your batteries at drop-off points located at:
- local government facilities.
It is estimated that only 10% of used handheld batteries are collected for recycling in Australia. This is low by international standards. 90% are going to land fill or disposed incorrectly. This can cause environmental damage as toxic chemical can leak into soil, water and drainage systems.
The BSC considers that the cost of the collection and sorting of batteries is the most significant barrier to developing an effective battery recycling regime in Australia.
The revenue raised from the battery levy will be used to provide a rebate. This is paid to collectors, sorters and processors of batteries to offset the cost of these activities.
Up to 75% of the levy revenue will be passed on to the collectors, sorters and recyclers. This will encourage existing companies to expand their activities or the entry of new participants.
Improved and more consistent sources of used batteries will:
- encourage the recycling industry to expand
- create new jobs and markets for materials derived from recycled batteries.
The underlying purpose of the scheme is to recycle batteries. Recyclers participating in the BSS commit to a landfill diversion target of 90% of collected materials.
How industries can take part
We encourage importers, retailers, collectors, processors and recyclers of batteries to join and become accredited members of the BSC.
As an accredited member, you make a series of commitments. This includes contracting for the supply of battery-related goods and services with other accredited members to the scheme where you can.
If you are an industry or government agencies, you can also become a formal member, known as battery stewards.
You can become a full member with BSC voting rights if you are:
- an importer who pays the levy, or
- a non-levy payer who pays a $1,000 annual membership fee.
Organisations and companies who contribute to the work of the BSC but do not want full membership can become associate members at no cost.
The BSS will be launched in January 2022.
- A Button Battery Advisory Group is developing a Button Battery Safety Strategy. This will be published in September 2021.
- Consultation with industry about including embedded batteries, energy storage systems and electric vehicle batteries into the BSS.
Ms Libby Chaplin, CEO
Phone 1300 853 820
We review and publish the annual reports for all voluntary arrangements. We will publish future annual reports here.