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China orders 90% lead to be recycled

Wed, 04/17/2013 - 18:36 -- Ruth Williams

Chinese authorities have ordered that 90% of used lead-acid batteries must be recycled by 2015, and 50% of lead used in the market must come from recycled sources.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a document to lead-acid battery manufacturers and lead users, stating guidelines for the recycling of lead in an effort to improve recycling, reduce lead pollution and regulate the use of lead in the country.

The government will, according to the document, continue to eliminate outdated capacities of smaller lead-acid battery manufacturers as well as impose strict rules to clean up the production process and promote recycling technology. It also stated financial incentives will be offered to facilities that adopt ‘cleaner production’ methods between 2011-2015.

The document also orders that smaller plants which were closed in 2012 for not complying with environmental regulations, cannot relocate to rural areas, central or western provinces.

By the end of 2012, only 412 lead battery makers remained in production compared with over 1700 licensed manufactures before plant closures.

Lead recycling facilities also decreased from more than 280 to about 30. The companies that remain have expanded to gain greater market share.