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Environmental Protection & Preservation

Battery Industry Presses Ahead with Voluntary Recycling Program

Presidents of Duracell, Energizer, Kodak, Panasonic and Rayovac, the five major battery producing companies, met in San Francisco on 13 December 2011 to review progress and reaffirm their commitment to the successful launch of an industry led, voluntary primary battery collection and recycling program in 2013.

In December 2010, leaders of the five companies met in Washington, DC to agree on a plan of action towards the launch of a nationwide system that maximizes reuse of spent battery materials with a goal of zero waste.

This decision was based on a life cycle analysis (LCA) of alkaline batteries, which account for over 90% of the batteries used by consumers in the United States. The LCA was carried out by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and showed that a carefully designed program, coupled with best available recycling technology, could lead to a net positive benefit for the environment.

The presidents appraised the work carried out over the past 12 months, including: the Stakeholder Summit in April; retaining of Blu Skye, California based Sustainability Consultants to test and design the program; formation of The Corporation for Battery Recycling; and preparations for the launch of Foundation Programs in five carefully selected municipalities in California, Washington State, Minnesota and New York.

"The industry is working in a scientific way to design and launch a program which is environmentally positive and consumer friendly," said Joseph McClanathan from Energizer.

"We are soon going to give American consumers the opportunity to recycle their batteries in a responsible way," added Stassi Anastassov from Duracell.

"This will be the first large-scale, industry sponsored, voluntary program for the collection and recycling of primary batteries anywhere in the world," said Jim Heidenreich from Rayovac.

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