You must offer free collection (‘takeback’) of waste or used batteries if you sell or supply 32kg or more of portable batteries per year.
One pack of 4 AA batteries per day equals about 32kg per year.
You must have a collection point at all premises from where you supply batteries. This applies if you run a shop, a chain of shops or sell batteries online, by mail order or telephone.
Batteries you must take back
You must take back any type of sealed battery that can be carried without difficulty by an average person.
This includes (but isn’t limited to) AA, AAA and 9v batteries, rechargeable batteries and batteries from:
- mobile phones
- hearing aids
- portable cameras
- electric toothbrushes
- hand-held vacuum cleaners
You don’t need to take back car and motorbike batteries or batteries from industrial equipment.
The collection point
You must have a collection point in your place of business, eg shop, warehouse or offices.
It should be suitable for the safe storage of all kinds of portable batteries, not just the types you sell.
You must let people know that you collect used batteries, eg by displaying posters in your premises or publishing it on your website.
You can download posters and get more information at the RecycleNow Partners website.
You’ll need to register but there’s no fee.
Send batteries to be recycled
A battery compliance scheme will collect your batteries free of charge - search online to find one.
To transport batteries yourself, eg to a recycling plant, you must:
- get a waste carrier certificate (there is a different certificate in Wales)
- follow the law on moving and transferring hazardous waste
Smaller retailers and distributors
You don’t have to take back used batteries if you sell less than 32kg of batteries a year.
You can voluntarily take back batteries but you may have to arrange collection and transport yourself. Speak to a compliance scheme operator - they may offer a collection.
You must follow the law on moving hazardous waste if you transport batteries yourself.
Enforcement and penalties
The National Measurement and Regulation Office (NMRO) manage the takeback scheme. They can visit your premises at any time to check how you’re handling waste batteries.
You could be fined up to £5,000 if you don’t comply with the regulations.
You can contact NMRO using the online enquiry form or by writing to:
NMRO Enforcement Authority