Member states have already expressed their interest in negotiations to introduce stricter legislation and implement sustainable batteries to prevent from pollution and waste of mineral resources.
Nowadays, battery production hugely contributes to carbon footprint, which negatively impact our planet. By 2050, the EU has committed to achieve a circular economy including usage of more sustainable batteries in order to reduce carbon footprint. The aim of this carbon-neutral economy is to reduce usage of toxic substances that contribute to global warming.
Due to production of batteries used in e.g., electric cars, raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and manganese are extracted in large amounts. Consequently, their reserves are shrinking every year. The demand for lithium, used in the batteries for electric vehicles, is increasing by 30% every year. This is also due to the increasing number of electric cars on the road. According to EU estimation, there were 1.8 million electric vehicles on the road in 2019, which is expected to rise to 30 million by 2030.(1) (2)
The disadvantage of current batteries is that they contain toxic substances such as cadmium and mercury, which are releasing into the environment. Besides that, they are difficult to recycle and have low durability. Therefore, the EU has decided to use more sustainable and environmentally friendly batteries. The aim is to use mineral resources more efficiently, reduce the carbon footprint, avoid the use of toxic substances, and implement stricter standards for the collection of batteries and waste from car batteries and electric vehicles. These batteries could be reused to avoid the waste of raw materials.(3)
According to Barbara Pompili, French Minister for Ecological Transition, more sustainable batteries play a key role in the shift towards zero-emission modes of transport. The batteries will be properly collected at the end-of-life to prevent from being released the harmful substances and contaminate the environment.(4)
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