Batteries and accumulators constitute an essential energy source and play an important role to ensure that many daily-used products, appliances and services work properly. At the same time, waste batteries are potentially harmful to the environment.

The EU legislation on waste batteries, which is embodied in the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC, regulates the placing on the market of batteries and accumulators and defines measures to maximise the separate collection and recycling of waste batteries and accumulators.


The Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC specifies the collection and recycling targets for batteries and accumulators and lays down rules for Member States’ monitoring compliance. More information is given in the Commission Regulation (EU) No 493/2012.

Sales and collection of all portable batteries and accumulators

Collection rates are based on sales (products put on the market) and collection (waste collected) data of portable batteries and accumulators. These data include portable batteries and accumulators only, not taking into account industrial and automotive batteries:


To monitor recycling targets, the recycling efficiencies for three different types of batteries and accumulators – lead acid, nickel-cadmium and other batteries including industrial and automotive batteries and accumulators – are presented:

More detailed data on the recycling of lead acid, nickel-cadmium and other batteries, including industrial and automotive batteries and accumulators are also given: 


The Directive 2006/66/EC defines the targets for the collection rates and for the recycling efficiencies of batteries and accumulators.

  • Collection rate targets for portable batteries and accumulators are: 25 % by 26 September 2012, rising to 45% by September 2016.

Recycling efficiencies must have been met for three types of batteries by no later than 26 September 2011. Recycling processes shall achieve the following minimum recycling efficiencies:

  • lead-acid batteries and accumulators – recycling efficiency of 65% by average weight;
  • nickel-cadmium batteries and accumulators –recycling efficiency of 75% by average weight;
  • other batteries and accumulators –recycling of 50% by average weight.

Lead and cadmium recycling (rate of recycled content) shall be performed to the highest degree technically feasible while avoiding excessive costs according to Directive 2006/66/EC. The first reference year for which Member States must report rates of recycled content is 2014.

Useful addresses

Environment DG: Batteries

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