Responsible Disposal: How EPR is Transforming Battery Recycling


In pursuing a sustainable future, responsible waste management has become paramount. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a key idea that transfers the responsibility for waste management from consumers to manufacturers. This framework is especially vital as the demand for electric vehicles surges.

EPR is essential to the establishment of a closed-loop system for battery recycling that minimises environmental effect while simultaneously conserving resources. In this article, we will look at what EPR is and how it helps India recycle batteries more effectively.


What is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)?

In August 2022, the MOEFCC (Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change), Govt. of India, mandated the EPR for all key stakeholders in the battery ecosystem under the Battery Waste Management Rules (BWMR 2022).

EPR is a policy framework that places the responsibility for effectively managing and disposing of a product's end-of-life waste on the producer or manufacturer. This means that producers are accountable for the entire life cycle of their products, including their eventual disposal or recycling. Manufacturers must adopt sustainable practices and implement efficient recycling solutions by assuming responsibility for their products' environmental impact.

EPR requires manufacturers to:

  • Recover and recycle their products when consumers no longer need them.
  • Use recycled materials from old products to make new ones.
  • Design products that are easy to recycle or reuse, thus reducing environmental harm from improper disposal.

Entities defined by BWMR

There are three main categories as defined under BWMR 2022:

  1. Producer: Entities that manufacture or sell batteries under its brand name, imports batteries, or equipment containing batteries
  2. Recycler: All entities that recycle waste batteries
  3. Refurbishers: All entities that reuse, recondition, or repurpose used batteries for a second life

Role of CPCB and SPCB

Key regulatory bodies in India overseeing EPR are the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which manages producer registration, compliance, and issues guidelines, and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) responsible for registering recyclers and refurbishers at the state level. Challenges of EPR implementation include traceability, data availability, and product redesigning for recyclability.

EPR in the context of battery recycling involves:

  • Establishing collection mechanisms: Producers must set up collection systems to retrieve used batteries from various sources, including consumers, retailers, and repair shops. These collection centres serve as crucial hubs for gathering end-of-life batteries and ensuring they do not end up in landfills.
  • Facilitating efficient recycling: Under EPR, producers are encouraged to collaborate with recycling facilities to process used batteries appropriately. This involves dismantling, sorting, and recycling of battery components, like metals, electrolytes, and plastics. This process helps to recover valuable resources, which can be further used to manufacture new batteries.
  • Promoting sustainable practices: Producers are incentivised to invest in environmentally friendly technologies and battery production and recycling methods. This can include using eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient processes, reducing the overall environmental impact of battery production and disposal.

Benefits of EPRBenefits of EPR


Extended Producer Responsibility is instrumental in battery recycling and sustainable waste management. It helps us establish a system that is more ecologically friendly and efficient by making producers responsible for the full life cycle of their goods. EPR is crucial in resource conservation, mitigating environmental damage, and promoting economic growth in India's transition to a greener future.