The goals of the waste batteries and accumulators management system, the integral part of which is the collection system for waste portable batteries and accumulators, is to reduce the negative effects on the environment caused by batteries and accumulators.
Batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead and are often very toxic and require a special recycling method. Most waste batteries and accumulators are classified as hazardous waste.
Everything related to the management of waste batteries and accumulators and the achievement of certain goals is prescribed by the Ordinance on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators (OG 111/15).
The provisions in the Ordinance apply to all types of batteries and accumulators, regardless of their shape, volume, mass, composition or method of use. More precisely, the provisions of the Ordinance apply to portable batteries or accumulators, but they do not apply to car batteries or accumulators (starters) and industrial batteries or accumulators, for which the fee is not calculated, but it is necessary to report them.
Management fees for portable batteries and accumulators are paid by importers and/or producers of portable batteries and accumulators when placing them on the market.
A producer of batteries or accumulators is any legal or natural person – craftsman, who on a professional basis develops, produces, processes, sells or imports and is the first person to place batteries or accumulators on the market of the Republic of Croatia, including those that are in devices and vehicles, regardless of the method of sale.
The producer is obliged to pay a fee for the management of waste batteries and accumulators, and such fee is a fee for the management of a special category of waste.
Also, he is obliged to keep records on the quantity of portable batteries and accumulators that he places on the market in the territory of the Republic of Croatia and on the quantity of exported and imported portable batteries and accumulators.
The fee paid covers the costs of collection, processing and recycling system of waste portable batteries and accumulators and the costs of informing the public about the collection, processing and recycling of all waste portable batteries and accumulators.
If there is an export of batteries and accumulators for which a management fee has been paid, the producer has the right to a refund of part of the paid fee minus the costs of processing the request and the costs of financial transactions.
Foreign companies must have an authorized representative in Croatia.
The producer is also obliged to ensure that batteries or accumulators being placed on the market are designed and produced in such a way that disassembly and recovery are possible in order to properly recycle the component parts and materials, and the design of the device must allow easy separation of the waste battery or accumulator from the device. The use of hazardous substances within the product should be reduced to the minimum possible extent, while recycled materials should be used to the greatest extent in accordance with the technical requirements for the ecological design of the product, which will facilitate processing.
The producer and the seller should inform the end user about:
- the possible effects of the substances used in the product on the environment and human health
- obligations of separate collection with the aim of facilitating the process of recycling, the producer is obliged to mark the product that he puts on the market with the symbol of separate collection and the prohibition of disposal in mixed municipal waste
- certain symbols and their meanings (e.g. Hg, Cd and Pb), it is forbidden to put on the market batteries or accumulators whose mass fraction of mercury is higher than 0.0005%, cadmium is higher than 0.002%, regardless of whether the product is separate or installed into the device, with certain exceptions
By improving the management system for waste batteries and accumulators, the aim is to promote and encourage research into improving the reduction of the overall impact of batteries and accumulators on the environment during their entire life cycle. Efforts are being made to encourage the development of batteries and accumulators that contain smaller amounts of hazardous substances and that contain substances that pollute the environment to a lesser extent, and this especially applies to replacing the use of mercury, cadmium and lead. The improvement of this system encourages the development of new processes of recycling and processing of waste batteries and accumulators, as well as the research of environmentally acceptable and cheap ways of recycling.
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