Our communities are understanding the importance of recycling, but as society we produce more waste than ever before . A small but significant classification is electronic and battery recycling. In particular, batteries are a risk to human health and the environment. The can leak chemicals which react with rain water. The contaminated water can then leach through the landfill and contaminate the ground water .

Victoria to Ban ALL e-Waste.

As of the 1st July 2019 all e-waste is banned from being disposed of in land fills. The state government categorises e-Waste as :” … any device with a power cord or battery … phones and televisions, but also products like microwaves, toasters, lawn mowers or lighting equipment”1. This includes temperature data loggers.

3R Waste Management

The solution to this is ethical recycling. We can reduce, reuse, and recycle – (3R) waste management.
Sustainability Victoria averts that only 3% of batteries purchased are recycled.
It’s interesting to note that – less than 3 per cent of all batteries purchased in Australia are currently recycled, the rest are sadly going to landfill. This means that over 14000 tons of batteries are destined for landfill each year. Australia’s performance compares very poorly with the recovery rates of other counties. France recovers 36 per cent of all batteries sold into the market and Switzerland recovers an impressive, but achievable, 72 per cent. Our research into battery recycling lead us to discover Envirostream, Australia’s new $2 million facility at New Gisborne in Victoria. They are Australia’s first to recycle lithium batteries. Until now, used lithium batteries have been sent overseas for recycling, but developing home-grown processing power means taking control of the recycling process in Australia and producing work for local communities. Ref 2. Envirostream are leading the way in safe and ethical disposal of Lithium batteries and CoolPac applaud this initiative. The battery recycling plant also fits well with Victoria’s e-waste landfill ban, which came into full effect 1st July 2019. Ref 3.
Battery recycling collection bin.

Battery Recycling and End-of-Life Disposal

In the past, society has developed the philosophy of: – use it – dump it – replace it. This notion is no longer an option, as our waste is piling up and contaminating the environment. More businesses and individuals are considering reusing products as much as possible – because reuse is the most environmentally effective strategy. However, all products have an expiry date and therefor disposal. Thought must go into the “end-of-life” consequences at the time of their purchasing decision: “...how will I dispose of it …. is there a equivalent product with better recycling options“.

CoolPac’s “Battery Recycling” Policy

CoolPac understands the importance of battery recycling. We have in place a program where you can send us your old data loggers and will dispose of them safely & ethically, for free, with minimal impact of the environment. References: 1. Waste Management Review: August 8 2018. 2. https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Latest-News/2018/04/26/04/57/Australias-first-lithium-battery-recycling-plant-opens 3. https://www.energymatters.com.au/renewable-news/australia-lithium-battery-recycling-victoria/ CoolPac sells temperature data loggers to the cold chain industry. The Cold Chain industry uses these loggers to monitor their temperature sensitive products to ensure that the product temperature parameters have been maintained during storage and transport.
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