Australia’s official battery product stewardship scheme, The Battery Stewardship Council (BSC) has unveiled plans for an increase in participation, alongside a new look public program called B-cycle.

In the lead up to its launch, B-cycle will be actively pursuing new industry participants including household battery importers, manufacturers, recyclers and retailers to join the Scheme. B-cycle is set to be fully operational with a network of drop-off locations in retail spaces by January 2022.

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction, Trevor Evans said the BSC has led the way by being among the first organisations to develop a voluntary product stewardship scheme under the government’s $26 million Product Stewardship Investment Fund.

“As waste batteries, especially those used in small handheld devices, are one of the fastest growing waste streams, this industry-led scheme will play an essential role in significantly increasing Australia’s battery collections and recycling and help grow the circular economy.

“We must all work together toward Australian consumers soon being able to safely and responsibly manage all types of used batteries at their end-of-life.”

B-cycle CEO, Libby Chaplin said it’s crucial Australia’s battery importers, collectors and recyclers sign up now and become accredited participants to take full advantage of the launch.

“As the official Scheme, B-cycle provides robust traceability, assurance collected batteries are recycled in a safe and environmentally sound way, and collected materials placed back into closed-loop systems,” she said.

“Retailers have the opportunity to be a part of Australia’s new battery recycling scheme and create real change – for people and the planet, while demonstrating their leadership as a business. With the introduction of the B-cycle Scheme, retailers can showcase their commitment to environmental and social responsibility and attract eco-conscious consumers by selling B-cycle accredited brands.”

In a recent BSC survey of over 1,000 adults, three out of four Australians said that if a retailer supported battery recycling, it would influence their decision to visit that store.

“We look forward to working with, and welcoming, many new participants regardless of size or scale as it’s going to take many players around the country to work collectively with us to create less waste and more opportunities for used batteries,” Chaplin added.

Over 100 organisations have already signaled their support for their Scheme including Bunnings, Canon, Coles, Duracell, Energizer, Panasonic, Milwaukee, and Woolworths.

To sign up and participate for free, retailers should visit Retailers can take a more active role and set up accredited drop-off points for used batteries.