While North America and Europe have a lead recycling rate of more than 99 percent, industry trade associations met among concerns that these rates were not the same in other parts of the world. In order to improve lead recycling efforts globally, the International Lead Association (ILA), Association of European Automotive and Industry Battery Manufacturers (Eurobat), Battery Council International (BCI), and the Association of Battery Recyclers (ABR), created a Memorandum of Cooperation outlining a framework for the development of a material stewardship program designed to support the environmentally responsible management of lead and other compounds, throughout the lifecycle of a lead-acid battery, from raw material production through battery manufacturing and recycling.
The memorandum issued by all four industry trade associations demonstrates an understanding that lead batteries used for energy storage, industrial applications, and in vehicles is worldwide, but improper recycling practices can cause health risks to the public and environment in areas where recycling rates are not as high as those in North America and Europe. In an effort to respond to these issues, these trade associations agreed collectively to address them by adopting a common set of principals, establishing continuous improvement goals, participate in knowledge transfer concerning environmentally responsible management of lead batteries, and to provide progress reports to interested shareholders.
The effort, according to the ILA, will help to advance environmentally responsible production and recycling of lead and lead batteries, in which the industry sees a global demand for this type of energy storage to increase thirteen-fold by 2024. More information on the agreement by the four trade associations and quotes can be found on the ILA website.