EU Parliament Approves New Rules to Enhance Battery Design, Waste Management, and User Privacy
Stricter Measures to Improve Sustainability, Recycling, and Protect Users' data and privacy being compromised by disability to disconnect the battery and stop spyware.
On Wednesday, the European Parliament gave its approval to new regulations aimed at revolutionizing the design, production, and waste management of batteries within the European Union. The comprehensive law, endorsed with 587 votes in favor, nine against, and 20 abstentions, covers all types of batteries and takes into account technological advancements and future challenges in the sector. Importantly, the new regulations also prioritize the protection of users' privacy throughout the battery life cycle.
The key measures outlined in the regulation include:
1. Mandatory carbon footprint declaration and labeling for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, light means of transport (LMT) batteries (such as those used in electric scooters and bikes), and rechargeable industrial batteries with a capacity exceeding 2kWh. This labeling requirement ensures that users have access to transparent information about the environmental impact of batteries, empowering them to make sustainable choices.
2. Designing portable batteries in appliances to allow consumers to easily remove and replace them. This provision not only enhances convenience but also plays a vital role in protecting users' privacy. By facilitating the safe and easy removal of batteries from devices, individuals can prevent unauthorized access to their personal data stored on the devices.
3. Introduction of a digital battery passport for LMT batteries, industrial batteries exceeding 2kWh, and EV batteries. This digital passport acts as a comprehensive record of the battery's history, including information about its origin, composition, and relevant certifications. This data transparency enables users to make informed decisions while ensuring that they have control over the batteries they use, ultimately safeguarding their privacy.
4. Implementation of a due diligence policy for all economic operators, with the exception of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This policy requires companies to assess and mitigate social and environmental risks associated with battery production and waste management. By adhering to this policy, businesses contribute to a more secure and responsible battery ecosystem, prioritizing users' privacy and data protection.
The approved rules align with the European Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan, and the New Industrial Strategy. In addition to promoting sustainability and the efficient use of resources, the regulations prioritize users' privacy rights throughout the battery life cycle. By providing clearer information, enabling easy battery replacement, and enhancing data transparency, individuals gain more control over their personal information and reduce the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches.
The Council is now required to formally endorse the text following the plenary vote. The regulation will be published in the EU Official Journal and enter into force shortly thereafter.
These groundbreaking regulations not only make mobile phones and other devices more secure, harder to spy on, and environmentally friendly but also empower users by protecting their privacy. By setting higher standards for waste collection, recycling efficiency, and material recovery, the EU takes a significant step toward building a sustainable and responsible battery industry while safeguarding the privacy rights of its citizens.