Australia’s official government-backed battery recycling scheme B-cycle, is pleased to welcome Coles to the scheme, adding 846 recycling Drop off points across the country.
The partnership marks a major moment for the scaling-up of the B-cycle scheme with 5000+ B-cycle drop-off points now available across the country and present in every major supermarket – making safe battery recycling easy and accessible for all Australians.
90 per cent of used batteries currently go to landfill, causing environmental impact and wasting precious resources. While recycling rates are improving across Australia, there is a long way to go.
The addition of Coles to the national recycling scheme means more people are now able to bring their used loose handheld batteries to the clearly marked recycling bins located at the front of each store, meaning valuable minerals and materials are not wasted, but used again and again.
Coles general manager of sustainability, Brooke Donnelly, said batteries are one of the fastest growing waste problems in Australia, and this initiative not only helps to address the challenge but also advance our transition to a circular economy.
“It’s estimated that Aussies have more than 150 million loose batteries in their homes but only 12 per cent are currently being recycled. By adding B-cycle battery collection bins out the front of our stores we’re providing a way for our customers to recycle their batteries that is safe and convenient,” said Donnelly.
The concerns of battery waste and safety are large in scale, but with participation from Coles, alongside continued support from participating retailers likeAldi, Bunnings and Woolworths, B-cycle is making headway on the issue of battery recycling. As one of the nation’s fastest-growing waste streams, B-cycle has shifted consumer behaviour, seeing an increase in battery recycling among all Australians by over 30 percent.
B-cycle CEO Libby Chaplinsaid the Battery Stewardship Council was thrilled to have Coles on board, emphasising the importance of collective action to address the issue of battery waste.
“With Coles now an accredited participant of the B-cycle Scheme, we expect to see a boost in public awareness around battery recycling and improvements to Australia’s capacity to further develop a circular battery supply chain. To effect lasting and sustainable change, we need all parts of the battery retail and manufacturing industries to become B-cycle accredited participants,” she said.
“Research conducted in 2021, before the launch of the B-cycle Scheme, found that 63 percent of Australians said they were incorrectly disposing of their batteries in their general waste and recycling bins. Through the support of leading retailers, importers and manufacturers, the Scheme has been able to rapidly scale, seeing the collection rate nearly doubling from 7 per cent to 12 per cent since the launch in 2022. With the addition of Coles to the Scheme and the 846 new drop-off points across Australia, we urge more people to not bin their batteries, but take them to a drop-off point instead,” Chaplinsaid said.
Incorrect storage and disposal of used batteries is a fire risk to households and waste providers, as well as potentially dangerous for small children due to ingestion. B-cycle is urging Australians to never put used batteries in household waste and recycling bins, instead, cover the battery terminals (the battery ends) with clear sticky tape and take them to their local B-cycle Drop off point – easily found on the B-cycle website.
Since the launch of B-cycle in 2022, collection of used batteries for recycling has almost doubled, creating positive impacts for people and our planet, as well as helping grow Australia’s onshore recycling industry capability.