Press Release
30 July 2020

Global Alliance of Lead Battery Manufacturers and Recyclers Urges Attention to Informal Recycling

UNICEF/Pure Earth Report Highlights Recognised Need for Action In Low- to Middle- Income Countries

Brussels, July 30: “We want to see an end to all informal and unregulated recycling as documented by Pure Earth and UNICEF. This important report shines a spotlight on the problem, and we will continue to play our part in helping to eradicate it. The more governments and regulators do in these countries to provide incentives to ensure that used batteries are only recycled by high performing recyclers, and to crack down on unregulated recycling, the better.

“Through our global material stewardship programme, the trade association member companies are committed to ensuring that inappropriately recycled lead does not enter our supply chains. We are also providing expert consultancy in many affected countries to improve recycling standards and will continue to work with NGOs like Pure Earth in their efforts to create sustainable solutions globally.

“However, we cannot do this alone. Success requires strong commitment from governments and regulatory bodies in the countries affected for real and long-lasting improvements to take place. For many people in low- and middle-income countries, informal and unregulated recycling is a subsistence issue, and the materials they are handling have a high economic value. Governments and regulators in these countries must incentivise high-performing, regulated recyclers and crack down on the informal sector and its practices.

“To deliver the acknowledged circular economy benefits of using lead batteries it is important that only high-performing recyclers are involved.

“It is a tragedy when a person or community is damaged or harmed by improper recycling of used batteries and the findings of the report warrant careful scrutiny. That said, it is important to note the distinction made in the report between informal and unregulated recycling, and the advanced recycling standards in the U.S. and in Europe, which set a high standard for effective and sustainable battery recycling, with batteries safely and efficiently recycled.”


Hywel Jarman
+44 207 833 8090 / +44 7718 483 887

Fareha Lasker and Gert Meylemans
+44 7936 371 985 / +32 475 565 661

Huw Longton
+32 2 761 16 22 / +32 471 58 13 14

Lisa Dry
+1 202 345 3673