New recycling rules that come into force today could push up the price of batteries, manufacturers have warned.
From today shops have to provide recycling points to allow consumers to bring back old batteries as part of efforts to meet European Union targets to recycle 10% of all batteries.
Currently the UK recycles just 3% of the 600 million batteries it consumes every year.
"Consumers will have to drive the recycling effort by taking their old batteries to dedicated collection points in retail outlets or municipal sites," Varta divisional vice president Vince Armitage told the Daily Telegraph.
"Not only is this problematic in itself, if householders don’t even know about the directive and the responsibility they have acquired overnight, the whole recycling effort will fall down from the outset."
If the government is fined for failing to hit targets, the cost would be passed onto manufacturers and ultimately consumers, he warned.
Sainsbury’s powers ahead with battery recycling (29 January 2010)
Defra launches battery recycling calculator (14 December 2009)