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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.

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