Why are batteries not included

Returned after use: Batteries and rechargeable batteries must be returned

More and more devices require the mobile energy dispenser. In Germany alone, the consumption of device batteries rose to around 55,905 tons in 2019, an increase of over 40% since 2009. To ensure that used batteries do not end up in the garbage can, retailers are obliged to take them back free of charge: Block battery, button or round cell - the top duty of the user is "return after use".

In fact, this has so far been the case for a little more than half of all old batteries; only around 52% of the disused Kraftmeier are returned, the collection rate has increased in the last 2 years. This means that Germany has now reached the EU-wide collective target of 45%.

Unfortunately, too many old batteries are still not being recycled or properly disposed of. With the following tips, we will show you the correct disposal method.

  • All exhausted batteries and accumulators must be returned to the retailer. This applies regardless of markings and inscriptions. The household waste is taboo for the pollutant-containing energy donors!
     
  • Button cells, batteries and the like of all brands can be returned free of charge - even if no new energy cells are purchased. However, retailers only have to take back the types that they also carry or have carried in their range. This means that shops that do not have button cells, for example, do not have to take back these disused energy dispensers.

  • Smaller devices with built-in batteries or rechargeable batteries - such as wristwatches - can be taken back free of charge by local collection points for waste electrical equipment and dealers.

  • When making a purchase, customers must be informed in the shop about their obligation to return.

  • Lithium batteries are becoming increasingly popular. For the safe handling of these batteries, you should observe the following tips: Mask off the poles during storage and before disposal so that no short circuits occur. Never expose lithium batteries or devices with lithium batteries to extreme heat and make sure that they do not come into contact with water. Do not use defective lithium batteries.

  • Some old batteries and accumulators contain a particularly large number of pollutants: They can contain large amounts of lead, cadmium and mercury - so do not throw them carelessly into the residual waste, but rather in separate collection boxes.

  • And be careful: Even the batteries marked with "0% Hg (for mercury), 0% Cd (for cadmium)" are by no means free of harmful substances. They can contain corrosive, water or environmentally hazardous substances such as potassium hydroxide or sulfuric acid. For example, some zinc-carbon batteries are advertised with the words "0% mercury and cadmium"; however, they contain the heavy metal lead. This can be recognized by the abbreviation "Pb", which can only be found on closer inspection, as this information is on the back of the packaging.

  • Even those who return starter batteries from the car do not need to pull out their wallet; because they are also taken back free of charge. If, however, no old battery is handed in when buying a new battery, the dealer must ask for a deposit of 7.50 euros - and may only pay out the money again when the old powerhouse is delivered.

    This requirement also applies to e-commerce. A deposit is also charged for online purchases, which will be refunded if the old battery is properly returned. If the old car battery is not handed in to the internet dealer, but to a stationary dealer on site, then this dealer is obliged to confirm the return - without reimbursement of the deposit - in writing or electronically. With this proof, which must not be older than two weeks, customers should have the deposit refunded immediately by online retailers.

  • Batteries for electric bicycles can be returned wherever they were bought.

But there is also a more environmentally friendly way: Solar-powered letter scales, personal scales or pocket calculators reduce the amount of batteries. When shopping, look out for products with the "Blue Angel" eco-label.

And there are products that can do without batteries at all, for example automatic wristwatches or mechanical toys.