The state of Vermont announced recently that by January 2016, manufacturers will be required to find recycling outlets for spent primary and alkaline batteries. This landmark plan holds manufacturers accountable for recycling batteries and allows residents free, and easy battery recycling options.
It is estimated that nearly 10 Million single use batteries are sold and used in Vermont annually. In an attempt to spurn landfill diversion and recycling, Vermont has involved a variety of stakeholders both public and private to build the most robust battery recycling program in the nation. This new way of holding manufacturers responsible for the end of life of products.
What Does This Mean for Business?
OEM recycling is a push many sustainability organizations are pushing for. Many companies have become very good at producing an astounding amount of products at an astounding cost. However, it is rare that companies are made to consider the end of life of these items. Instead this ends up as a public cost, landfills, pollution, and health hazards are all costs paid by the people.
In the future, businesses must begin to consider the end of life of many of their products. Despite pushback from some business communities, the trends seem to be shifting towards a comprehensive recycling requirement for OEM manufacturers. This would require product lifecycle management implemented throughout many major industries.
What Does This Mean for Battery Laws Nationwide?
Battery recycling laws are only destined to grow. As landfill aversion begins to be a hot-button issue, batteries are an easy and established commodity around which to begin implementing solid laws. With recent pushes by big names waste companies like Waste Management and Republic Services to increase recycling capabilities exponentially, we can only hope that the renaissance of recycling is only just beginning.