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Webinar: The Sustainable and Environmentally Sound Management of Lead Acid Battery Manufacturing and Used Lead Acid Battery Recycling in Africa

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:16 -- Paul Crompton

EVENT WEBINAR: The United Nations Environment Programme— responsible for coordinating the UN's environmental activities and assisting developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices— is holding a webinar looking at the sound recycling practices and managment of lead-acid batteries in Africa.

The eight, 90-minute webinar sessions in four regions (presentations and videos will have commentary in English, Spanish, French, and Russian) will explain how how to develop and implement a national Lead Risk Reduction Strategy using lead battery inventories and trade analysis.

The webinars aim to present the magnitude of lead in used lead battery consumption, its links to energy efficiency in the climate change agenda; explain how to develop and implement a practical and effective Lead Risk Reduction Strategy; outline the key elements of Sustainable, Safe, Hygienic and Environmentally sound lead battery manufacturing and recycling; and introduce regulators to the use and application of the Benchmarking Assessment Tool (BAT) process for HSE assessments. 

The events will held in English on 12 and 13 May and in French on 26 and 27 May.  

The increasing demand for vehicles, cars, trucks and buses, as well as the rapid growth of green energy (such as solar electricity) means that the demand for lead-acid batteries (LAB) will only grow and increase the tonnage of used lead-acid batteries (ULAB) generated annually and in need of recycling.

The use of LAB for green energy storage is beneficial to the drive to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and is also the major growth market for the technology. Furthermore, recycling of ULAB reduces the consumption of primary materials and uses approximately one quarter (or one fourth) of the energy.

The 2019 International Lead Zinc Study Group World Factbook on Lead, points to as much as 86% of lead consumption is in lead acid batteries. Secondary Lead production, primarily from recycling of ULAB accounts for about 67% of total Lead consumption (ILZWG, 2019).

The recycling of ULAB can be achieved in a sustainable, hygienic, safe and environmentally sound manner, but if undertaken by informal unlicensed recyclers that operate with no regard for the health and safety of the workers, or the environment, then there will be serious detrimental impacts for occupational and population health, due to lead exposure, injuries to workers because of unsafe working conditions, and environmental damage, particularly to water sources.

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