Activists: Ukraine is in desperate need of a battery recycling plant

Battery collection facilities are running out of their storage capacities. People realize the importance of recycling batteries properly, however, there are no battery recycling plants in Ukraine. Activists suggest a solution.

“Give up the batteries!”

The project “Give up the batteries!” (Batareyky, zdavaites!) has resulted in over 40 tons of collected batteries, it also led to a severalfold increase in a number of batteries taken to the collection points. The project’s storages are full, but there are no recycling facilities in Ukraine. Recycling plants are located abroad, and the recycling itself is quite expensive. Activists suggest a solution: to build a battery recycling plant in Ukraine as well as to include the battery recycling cost into its price. To construct the plant, the project has teamed up with two companies – batteries’ importers and a retail trade network.

How battery degradation impacts environment

“The problem is critical, as the batteries contain heavy metals, that after the batteries degrade, get not only into the environment but also into food. They may have a harmful impact on the nervous system and cause oncological diseases… Besides, these materials can be recycled,” emphasized Liubov Kolosovska.

“In Ukraine, four-five batteries are used per capita annually. One may check accordingly how many batteries are imported and consumed. In fact, we rarely see rechargeable batteries in the collection containers. However, they are also imported and consumed, and thus require recycling,” said Andriy Zbaranskyi, commercial director of “Enerlite” Ltd (TM “VARTA”).

The price

To make a technical and economic feasibility study for the plant construction the organizers require UAH 460 thousand (approx. EUR 14,578). It has been partially financed by the battery importers. Simultaneously, a crowdfunding campaign has been launched on the website of the “Give up the batteries!” project. Construction of the plant itself costs EUR 15 million, based on the experience of the EU member states.

The financial side of the project can be resolved by including the battery recycling cost into the price of new batteries – the way it is done in Europe, said Liubov Kolosovska. Should this system come into effect, the price for a battery will rise by UAH 0,03-1 depending on the number of importers – partners of the initiative. For now, just a few companies have joined. “We call on all the importers – both direct ones and the ones like us that are selling the batteries in their shops, to join the initiative. I hope that when they see the project working and other companies and civil society joining it, they will be more those eager to participate,” added Kateryna Veremieieva, PR-director of “DTS Ukraine” Ltd (Watsons retail network).