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Duracell, Energizer, Panasonic and Rayovac Preparing Nationwide Battery Recycling Program

The Corporation for Battery Recycling (CBR), a non-profit organization comprised of the four largest battery makers, issued a request for proposal that seeks a business partner to steward the collection and recycling of household batteries.

The national program will focus on the collection of all consumer batteries and recycling of alkaline manganese, zinc carbon, zinc air, silver oxide and lithium batteries.

The battery group’s work began in 2011 with a full life cycle analysis by MIT of consumer batteries, which indicated that, under the right circumstances, collection and recycling could be net environmentally positive (measured against a baseline of environmental impact of land filling batteries under current assumptions). This new finding led to the formation of CBR, the governing entity that has begun the process for a national battery recycling effort.

“Our vision is to have an industry-led voluntary program that redefines how U.S. consumers dispose of batteries, maximizing the reuse of spent battery materials and producing zero waste to landfill,” said Marc K. Boolish, president of CBR. “We are seeking a stewardship organization with the capacity to build a national program that is convenient and inspires consumers to participate by recycling the batteries they use in a range of electronic and household devices.”

CBR members have been working together to review the implications from the life cycle analysis and create a framework for voluntary recycling where the use of recovered materials such as zinc, manganese and steel offsets the extraction impact of virgin materials. 

The execution of a communication and education program is an integral component of the stewardship organization’s responsibility. An awareness campaign is under development to inspire, educate and motivate consumers of primary household batteries to voluntarily participate in the program.

Bart King is a PR/marketing communications consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications. 

Bart King is the principal of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. He is also Associate Editor of Sponsored Content for Sustainable Brands. Follow him @bart_king [Read more about Bart King]

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