1. Current status of international waste battery management
The United States, Japan, the European Union and other regions do not manage ordinary dry batteries used in people's daily lives as hazardous waste, and there is no law forcing the separate collection and disposal of ordinary dry batteries. Battery industry associations and individual cities in a few developed countries have organized collection activities for ordinary dry batteries. If a city or company voluntarily collects and processes (or utilizes) batteries separately, there is no restriction on the country where it is located. Japan, Switzerland, Germany and other countries have established waste battery recycling plants that can process mercury-containing ordinary waste batteries and rechargeable batteries. Only about 1/3 of waste batteries are collected for disposal in Switzerland. Japan's waste battery treatment facilities are also very difficult to operate, and because the total amount of waste batteries is small, part of the facility's production capacity is idle. Germany placed the collected waste batteries in abandoned mines.
In terms of battery management policies, the policies of developed countries can be summarized into two categories. The first category is for ordinary dry batteries. The government requires manufacturers to gradually reduce the mercury content in batteries and eventually make batteries mercury-free. This requirement is to eliminate all mercury-containing products and processes (such as using mercury as a catalyst), not just the battery industry. Almost all developed countries now ban the use of mercury in batteries. The second category is for rechargeable batteries. Pass legislation requiring manufacturers to phase out cadmium-containing batteries. At present, nickel-metal hydride batteries and lithium-ion battery are gradually replacing nickel-cadmium batteries. Electronic product manufacturers associations in some countries have carried out rechargeable battery recycling work, and the effect is also quite remarkable. This is mainly because the total consumption of rechargeable batteries is relatively small; the scope of application is small, and it is easy to collect through trade-in; the recycling value is high. Such waste batteries are easier to collect.
2. Current status of waste battery management in China
The "Law of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Wastes" issued by China stipulates that hazardous wastes should be managed according to the principles of key control and centralized disposal in accordance with key links such as classified management, collection, storage, transfer and disposal. However, there is no specific provision for the management of waste batteries in the law. At the end of 2001, the State Environmental Protection Administration formulated and promulgated the Technical Policy for the Prevention and Control of Hazardous Waste Pollution. In this technical policy, some principled opinions are put forward on the management of waste batteries, but there is no clear and detailed management method. The "Technical Policy for Pollution Prevention and Control of Waste Batteries" has been promulgated and implemented by the State Environmental Protection Administration and other departments in 2003.
In the management of the battery industry, on December 31, 1997, nine ministries and commissions including the China Light Industry Federation, the State Economic and Trade Commission, the Ministry of Domestic Trade, the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the State Environmental Protection Administration, the General Administration of Customs, the State Technical Supervision Bureau, and the State Commodity Inspection Bureau jointly issued a document stating that from January 1, 2001, China will prohibit the domestic production of various types of batteries with a mercury content greater than 0.025% of the battery quality; at the same time, domestic and foreign battery products entering the market must be marked with mercury content; since January 1, 2005, the production of alkaline zinc-manganese batteries with a content greater than 0.001% of its own mass has been prohibited; since January 1, 2006, it is prohibited to distribute alkaline zinc-manganese batteries with a mercury content greater than 0.0001% of its own mass in China. In this document, specific regulations are made on the content of various types of batteries, specific control methods, and supervision and implementation of the methods.
Judging from the actual progress, China's battery manufacturing industry has gradually reduced the mercury content of batteries in accordance with the "regulations". According to the data provided by the China Battery Industry Association, China's annual output of batteries is about 18 billion, about 10 billion are exported, and China's annual consumption is about 8 billion, all of which have reached the low mercury standard (the mercury content is less than 0.025% of the battery quality). About 2 billion of them meet the mercury-free standard (mercury content is less than 0.0001% of the battery mass). However, some counterfeit batteries on the market may not meet the low mercury standard.