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Ensuring that batteries placed on the EU market are sustainable and circular throughout their whole life cycle.


Batteries and accumulators are an indispensable energy source. They are also a key technology in the transition to climate neutrality, and to a more circular economy. Global demand for batteries is increasing rapidly and is set to increase 14 times by 2030. The EU could account for 17% of that demand.

To minimise the environmental impact of this exponential growth and in light of new socioeconomic conditions, technological developments, markets, and battery usages, the Commission proposed a new Batteries Regulation in 2020. A key achievement under the European Green Deal, the new law brings forward both the circular economy and zero pollution ambitions of the EU.


EU rules on batteries aim to make batteries sustainable throughout their entire life cycle – from the sourcing of materials to their collection, recycling and repurposing. In the current energy context, the new rules promote the development of a competitive sustainable battery industry, which will support Europe’s clean energy transition and independence from fuel imports.


The Commission published an evaluation of the former Batteries Directive in 2019. The evaluation concluded that the Directive has delivered positive results related to a better environment and promoting recycling and better functioning of the internal market for batteries and recycled materials.

However, limitations prevent the Directive from fully delivering on its objectives, in particular related to collecting waste batteries or the efficiency in materials recovery. The evaluation noted that it is difficult for the Directive to keep pace with technological developments, due to the absence of a mechanism to incorporate technological novelties and new uses.


  1. 9 December 2022
    Provisional political agreement reached between the European Parliament and Council on the new rules on batteries
  2. 9 December 2020
    Commission adopts proposal for new rules on batteries
  3. 9 April 2019
    Commission publishes evaluation of Batteries Directive
  4. 6 September 2006
    Batteries Directive enters into force

Studies and publications

  • Final report - Feasibility study on labelling and efficiency of primary batteries
  • Final report - Comparative Life-Cycle Assessment of nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries used in Cordless Power Tools (CPTs) vs. their alternatives nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) and lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries
  • Final report - elements for an impact assessment on proposed options for capacity labelling of portable primary batteries in the context of the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC
  • Final report - exemption for the use of cadmium in portable batteries and accumulators intended for the use in cordless power tools in the context of the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC
  • Final report  - study on the calculation of recycling efficiencies and implementation of export article (Art. 15) of the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC
  • Final reportexecutive summary and summary table - establishing harmonised methods to determine the capacity of all portable and automotive batteries and rules for the use of the label indicating the capacity of these batteries


Eurostat provides access to detailed information on batteries and accumulators produced and waste generated.


For questions about EU environmental policy, please contact Europe Direct.

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