Sustainability

Valpak awarded for carbon-free battery collection service

Environmental compliance scheme Valpak Ltd has won the Partnership Excellence award at the National Recycling Awards for its carbon-free battery collection service.

Valpak’s carbon-free battery collection serviceThe service, which is free of charge, uses cycle couriers to collect waste batteries from workplaces in Cambridge and London. The bikes use reverse logistics, picking up batteries after dropping off parcels at offices and outlets.

Valpak has worked with logistics partner Zedify and battery recycler Ecobat Logistics to create the service. 

Around 40,000 tonnes of portable batteries are sold in the UK each year, but only 8,000 tonnes were recycled in 2018. It is hoped that the service will contribute to larger-scale battery recycling in the UK.

Batteries that are not recycled correctly are often placed in general rubbish, where, without the correct treatment, they can cause fires in recycling facilities.

Recent research has found that waste fires caused by lithium-ion batteries at recycling facilities are costing the UK economy £158 million annually.

Valpak’s carbon-free battery collection scheme has already collected 6,974 tonnes, which is equivalent to 384,700 waste batteries.

Following comments from judges at the National Recycling Awards that the scheme could be replicated at a local level in a number of locations, Valpak is looking to expand the scheme into other areas of the UK.

James Nash, Commercial Manager at Valpak, said: “We are all extremely proud to have undertaken such a worthwhile project.

“Being able to offer carbon friendly collection services in large areas, on top of free battery bins and free recycling across the entire UK, is a real achievement.

“The latter alone stops harmful substances entering the environment or being placed into the wrong bin and sent to landfill. To add such an eco-friendly transport initiative to this is a significant bonus.”

Any business can sign up for free Valpak battery collections, which accepts any small household batteries.