Waste batteries have a negative impact on the environment (even if it is minor) mainly because of which mercury is included. Therefore, the developed countries earlier began to control the amount of mercury in the battery, to promote the development of environmentally friendly safety battery products, prohibit the production of mercury content is greater than the battery weight of 0.025% of the battery. In the early 1990s, the major developed countries achieved mercury-free mercury (less than 0.0001% mercury).
In the battery management policy, developed countries can be summed up in two categories of policies.
The first category is for ordinary dry batteries. The government asked manufacturers to gradually reduce the mercury content of the battery, and ultimately prohibit the addition of mercury to the battery. This requirement is to eliminate all mercury-containing products, part of the process, not just for the battery industry. Now, almost all developed countries are banned from adding mercury to the battery.
The second type of policy is for rechargeable batteries. Through legislation to require manufacturers to phase out cadmium batteries. At present, nickel-metal hydride batteries, lithium batteries are gradually replacing nickel-cadmium batteries. Some countries of the electronics manufacturers Association to carry out the rechargeable battery recycling work, the effect is more significant. This is mainly because the total consumption of rechargeable batteries is relatively small (compared with ordinary dry batteries), the application range is small, easy to collect the way through, and the recycling value is higher, so this collection of waste batteries easier.
For the waste of ordinary dry batteries, no one developed countries to force the need for centralized collection and processing. The United States, Japan and the European Union and other regions did not use the ordinary life of the ordinary dry batteries as hazardous waste treatment, nor forced to collect and deal with ordinary dry battery legislation. There is a stage in which some developed countries of the battery (sub) industry associations, individual cities have organized the collection of ordinary dry batteries, their countries are neither encouraged nor restricted. At present, developed countries alone to carry out the activities of recycling ordinary batteries has been very little, but in the garbage collection and processing, the waste batteries collected separately to deal with.