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Lead battery recyling model recognized as groundbreaking regulatory work

Lead battery recyling model recognized as groundbreaking regulatory work

70% of World’s Energy Storage Captured by Sustainable Lead Batteries

The lead battery industry has been called a model of a circular economy by the World Economic Forum and The Sustainability Consortium – and most recently, the American Association of Association Executives (ASAE) has cited the groundbreaking work that is the foundation of the system as one of the most important regulatory accomplishments of the last 100 years.

As part of its Centennial Celebration, ASAE, known as the association for associations, cast a wide net to identify meaningful contributions associations have made on major world events over the last century as part of their 100 Years of The Power of A campaign.

Battery Council International’s (BCI) contribution, titled “A Model for Recycling,” is one of 51 featured vignettes which highlight three buckets of association accomplishments: Major legislative/regulatory contributions; times when the country came together; and policies that changed society. 

“We are thrilled to be in the same company as the USO, the Civil Rights Act, the Red Cross blood donation program, and other similarly significant accomplishments,” said Roger Miksad, BCI executive vice president. “BCI drafted one of the first model laws to promote the sustainable materials management and recycling of batteries. Today, more than 40 states have adopted the model, and lead batters are the most recycled consumer product in the United States.”

David Weinberg, a partner at the D.C.-based Wiley law firm, has had a decades’ long relationship with BCI, and was one of the original authors of, and advocate for, the model law. “I’m extremely proud to see the industry recognized for its long term commitment to sustainability. In 1988 when we started this work, recycling of household waste was just gaining traction. We were pioneers in creating a circular economy within the manufacturing sector where we make-use-recycle-manufacture in a closed loop operation rather than take-make-use and then send the product to a landfill. Lead is still the only battery chemistry that can claim such complete recycling success.”

Unlike batteries purchased and disposed of as single-use, lead batteries are designed to be recycled – infinitely. When a lead battery has reached the end of its life, its materials (lead, plastic and electrolyte) are recycled instead of going into a landfill. Each year this system keeps 130 million used batteries from landfills.

“With energy storage increasingly important to help offset the variability of renewable energies, store surplus generation for electric-vehicle smart charging,  stabilize the grid and provide backup power for data centers and telecom, it’s essential that we choose sustainable systems, such as those enabled by lead batteries to help ensure a reliable, domestic-based source of energy storage,” said Miksad. “We are honored that our industry’s role in the circular economy has been recognized for its contribution to society, and hope to provide a model for newer battery chemistries.”

Battery Council International is the North American trade association representing the lead-based battery manufacturing, supply, recycling and distribution companies. For more information on the association, visit www.batterycouncil.org.

Learn More at Essential Energy Everyday

Essential Energy Everyday exists to increase awareness of the critical importance of lead batteries in powering our daily lives. It encourages continued investment in sustainable lead battery technology to store and provide energy on demand. Its initiative is supported by the two global trade associations that represent the lead battery and lead industries, Battery Council International and the International Lead Association