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For Release: Monday, 1st February 2010

From 1st February 2010 distributors of portable batteries will be required to provide a free take-back service for waste batteries and inform end-users of this service. The requirement applies to distributors who supply more than 32kg of portable batteries a year (the equivalent of one four pack of AA batteries a day). This measure is aimed at significantly increasing the collection and recycling of used portable batteries in the UK from current levels, estimated at 3% to 25% by 2012 and 45% by 2016.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has appointed VCA to act as the enforcement body for the distributor elements of the legislation. VCA currently acts as the enforcement body for similar provisions under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations.

Speaking of the appointment VCA CEO, Paul Markwick said, "We are delighted to have been appointed to act as the enforcement body by Defra. Our experienced enforcement teams have an excellent track record in working with industry to ensure compliance".

More information is available through the VCA website -
Notes to editors:


The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations came into force on 5 May 2009 establishing a new Producer Responsibility system for the collection, treatment and recycling of waste portable, industrial and automotive batteries and accumulators (rechargeable batteries). This follows a European Batteries Directive in 2006, which aims to increase battery recycling rates across all European member states. More information can be found on the DEFRA website -

DEFRA has also produced a number of helpful products, including an FAQ document and poster, to support distributors in this area and these can be accessed using the link above or through the VCA website.

About VCA

VCA is part of the UK Department for Transport and has extensive experience of enforcing compliance with consumer protection legislation. Based in Bristol and Nuneaton, VCA has a national network of highly trained enforcement officers in place to ensure that distributors have measures in place to meet their obligations.

Media Contacts - Paul Cooke, VCA Press Officer ( or call +44 (0)117 9524126).