China is to crack down on illegal lead recycling and launch a “traceability system” to promote advances in lead battery development as a “backbone” national industry.
The environment ministry said the government wants to “promote the standardised and orderly development of lead storage battery production and lead recycling”.
The ministry’s ‘action plan’— which has been seen by BEST Battery Briefing— said lead battery manufacturers will be encouraged to develop “ecological designs” for new batteries and to “increase the proportion of recycled raw materials” used in production.
And battery importers will be expected to “establish a standardised recycling system through self-built recycling systems or in cooperation with social recycling systems”.
The aim is to “give full play to the leading role of lead-acid battery production and lead recycling (as) backbone enterprises”, the action plan said.
By 2020, lead storage battery manufacturers will be expected to achieve a “standard” 40% collection rate of used lead batteries— rising to a collection rate of 70% by 2025.
The environment ministry said it would work with other national agencies “to establish a public information service platform for the collection and disposal of waste lead storage batteries, and to access all the information on the collection and processing”.
The ministry said “lead-acid batteries are regarded as key commodities” and the government will “continue to crack down on illegal production and sales of counterfeit and lead-acid batteries”.
Dr Andy Bush, managing director of the International Lead Association, told BBB: “The fact that China clearly recognises lead batteries as a core technology in future energy storage applications is significant. And the country’s drive to raise standards with more efficient and effective recycling is to be welcomed.”
BBB reported last year that authorities in China were being urged to shut down “substandard” secondary lead production facilities as part of moves to boost the recycling of lead-acid batteries.