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Stop to button cells with more than 2% of mercury, incentives for modular designs and use of recycled or recyclable materials.
The novelties coming up could bring order in the production and end-of-life management of batteries and electrical and electronic equipment, making them more eco-friendly. On the one hand, the Council of Ministers gave the final go-ahead to a Legislative Decree on batteries, accumulators and the waste of these products. On the other hand, a draft decree of the Ministry of Environment defines the criteria and methods to promote environmentally sustainable choices in the design and production of electric and electronic devices.
The Legislative Decree on batteries and accumulators is a transposition of the EU Directive no. 56/2013 and enables to close the infringement procedure that Brussels had set off for Italy’s former failure to transpose the directive.
The measure includes several novelties. First of all it abolishes the derogation on the marketing of button cells with mercury content of no more than 2% by weight: starting from the entry into force, these batteries will not be marketed anymore. December 31st, 2016 is fixed as new end date of the derogation on the prohibition to market portable batteries for wireless appliances. The deadline has been moved to allow traders to adjust to new substitute technologies. A 6 months term is allowed for producers to comply with the obligation to provide independent professionals with instructions on the correct removal of exhaust batteries .
For what concerns the field of electric and electronic equipment, the Decree pushes towards the application of circular economy principles. It also establishes a reduction of the EEE environmental contribution to support the ecosustainable production of electronic devices, for example by using recycled and easily recyclable materials or by designing modular systems in order to simplify recovery and recycling operations. Moreover, the Decree promotes partnerships between producers of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and operators of recycling and recovery facilities. Finally it also drafts measures aimed at prevention and reuse through the reconditioning of devices. The measure, which received the positive opinion of the State Council, goes to implement Article 5, paragraph 1, of the Legislative Decree 49/2014.