Use of environmentally-friendly substances
VARTA Consumer Batteries is promoting the use of eco-friendly raw material alternatives whenever possible. Mercury in alkaline and zinc-carbon batteries was eliminated almost 20 years ago. More recently a full range of mercury-free zinc-air batteries was developed and introduced in the market.
EU battery directive (2006/66/EC)
Since September 26, 2008, the EU-battery directive is mandatory in all EU member states. All portable batteries regardless of electrochemical system have to be separately collected and recycled. The EU-battery directive requires the collection rate of spent batteries to reach 25% by September 26, 2012 and 45% by September 26, 2016. EU-member states are free to require higher collection rates within their territory (Gemany 35% by September 26, 2012). It is possible to recycle batteries of almost every electrochemical system. Therefore the EU-battery directive has set a recycling efficiency target of 50% for the commonly used consumer battery chemistries.
In 2009 the compliance organization 'Stiftung GRS Batterien' collected more than 14,000 tons of portable batteries in Germany. Sorting of the collected batteries and their proper material recycling is coordinated by this organization. An impressive collection rate of 44% was achieved for the year 2009. VARTA is a founding member of 'Stiftung GRS Batterien' along with other battery manufacturers and the ZVEI (Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektroindustrie e.V.).