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With a growing economy and growing population, more ownership of automobiles and renewable energy installations has led to higher demand for batteries resulting in unintended consequences for the Nigerian environment.

Nigeria has become a major consumer of Lead Acid Batteries and Lithium-ion Batteries, with informal and dirty recycling activities for millions of used batteries done without any responsibility to the environment. This has caused widespread pollution around communities where used batteries are collected, processed and smelted.

Lead-Acid Battery recycling is regarded as one of the worst polluting industries worldwide. Batteries may contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, silver, nickel or lithium that are very hazardous to the environment and human health if not recycled or disposed of properly.

Recent estimates by the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of Nigeria (REDIN) indicate that Nigeria currently generates about 184,000tons of used lead acid batteries from the automotive and renewable energy sectors annually.

With exponential rise in consumption of lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, it is imperative that Nigeria implements control measures to tackle the problem through an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Programme in which anyone who benefits from the trade of selling batteries (new or used) shares in the responsibility of properly recycling them at their end of life.


 

Alliance for Responsible Battery Recycling (ARBR)

In order to create significant change, we believe that everyone who uses or benefits from batteries must share in the responsibility of ensuring their environmentally sound management and disposal.

A coordinated national approach to battery recycling is critical to this success. That’s why in 2019 the Alliance for Responsible Battery Recycling (ARBR) was formed to synchronize the players of the battery sector towards preventing the potential hazards from battery handling and recycling.



Working with Battery Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors, Retailers, Recyclers, End-Users, Renewable Energy Operators, Environmental Groups, and Governments across the country, the Alliance will execute programmes and projects that promote the removal of used batteries from the general waste stream, ensure their environmentally sound recycling, build capacity and knowledge, and create public awareness on the hazards of improper

Battery Disposal.

ARBR will also conduct extensive research into the development of energy efficient made in Nigeria batteries using Nigerian raw materials and clean technology.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

• Battery producers must take the opportunity to participate in a national strategy for used battery collection and recycling. It is crucial to a battery programme’s success that everyone in the value chain plays a role and shares responsibility, which is the purpose of Extended Producer Responsibility.

• Retailers, recyclers and end-users all have a shared responsibility to minimize the negative impact that batteries can have on our environment.

• All companies that sell new or used batteries in Nigerian must contribute to the cost of mitigating the hazards of collection and recycling activities.

● Those who make and sell products that contain or utilize batteries should make informed decisions based on the effects of their battery choices and implement battery take-back schemes.

• ARBR believes that battery manufacturers

-regardless of whether their facilities are domestic or foreign — should support the costs of recycling.

Battery Segments in Nigeria

1. The Automotive Sector is the highest consumer and generator of used batteries estimated 5.9 million used batteries annually.

2. The Power Generating Sector is estimated to generate 4.6 million used batteries annually, but as renewable energy advances, power generators are likely to decline.

3. Renewable Energy and Battery Storage applications are growing fast and currently generates over 400,000 used batteries annually. Note that this sector utilizes large batteries and thereby a high tonnage of the used batteries.
 
Registration And Operation

The ARBR is a not-for-profit organization approved by the Attorney General of Nigeria and registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission as Limited by Guarantee. 

The ARBR is licensed by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) to operate as the Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) for the battery sector to implement the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Programme.

The ARBR operates under the National Environmental 
(Electrical/Electronic Sector) Regulations, 2011 and the National Environmental (Sanitation and Waste Control) Regulations, 2009. 

The ARBR also operates with the Basel Convention Guidelines under the Federal Ministry of Environment, and in collaboration with the Basel Convention Coordination Centre for Africa (BCCC-Africa). 

The ARBR has recently contributed to developing the emerging regulatory instruments including the National Battery Policy of the Federal Ministry of Environment and the National Environmental (Battery Control) Regulations by NESREA.  

ARBR Agenda for 2021 

1. Execute Used Battery Take-Back Scheme for Renewable Energy Operators

2. Conduct Inventory and Audit of Battery Installations at Mini-Grids and Solar Projects Nationwide. 

3. Introduce a Battery Recycling Programme Across the States to Register and Improve the Collection and Transportation Systems. 

4. Organize Roundtable Dialogues, Workshops and Capacity Building for State Regulators, Recycling and Renewable Energy Operators

5. Support Technology Upgrade of the Battery Recycling Value Chain

6. Promote Policy Proposals and Standard Operating Procedures for Sustainable Battery Usage and Management.


ARBR Objectives

1. Create a level playing field where every battery producer, retailer and recycler of batteries supports end-of-life management of the product.

2. Assure that overall responsibility is shared between manufacturers, importers, consumers, retailers, recyclers and collectors.

3. Build awareness of battery recycling to maximize battery collection and long-term awareness

4. Work to efficiently use resources by pursuing recycling-oriented manufacturing

5. Minimize the environmental impact of batteries throughout the entire supply chain including end of life management.

Role of  the Federal Ministry of Environment & NESREA

1. Implement and enforce policies and regulations to ensure strict compliance to guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures for battery production and recycling.

2. Supervise the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility programme for the battery sector through the Alliance for Responsible Battery Recycling as Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO).

3. Collect annual operational reports and data from the PRO and keep track of environmental management progress in the battery sector.

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