Woolworths to recycle batteries, mobile phones

Used batteries can often leak harmful chemicals into their surroundings.

Supermarket Woolworths is further hastening its consumer-facing sustainable initiatives by announcing a battery recycling initiative, with collection units to be placed in every Woolworths store around the country.

The units will accept used batteries, as well as mobile phones, in an effort to bump up Australia’s rate of battery recycling – which currently sits at around 10 per cent, lagging behind other developed nations.

“We’re working towards a better tomorrow by reducing our own environmental footprint, while also making it easier for our customers to do the same,” said Woolies’ head of sustainability Adrian Cullen.

“By offering customers a convenient place to drop off batteries and phones as part of their regular weekly shop, not only can we help prevent batteries going to landfill, but also reduce at home stockpiles which can be a safety risk.”

The program is operated in partnership with battery recycler Ecobatt, which will collect and process the batteries and phones. It also comes as the Federal Government produced additional funding for the Battery Stewardship Council, of which Woolies is a member, to support schemes such as this.

“Convenience is often one of the key elements to changing consumer behaviour, so it’s wonderful to see Woolworths providing their customers drop off points for used batteries,” said Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley.

Used batteries can often leak harmful chemicals into their surroundings, and can be recycled to extract useful metals such as copper, aluminum and steel.

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