Used batteries may no longer be able to operate appliances, but they still have the #PowerToDoMore. A campaign from producer compliance scheme Valpak is cutting carbon, educating members of the public and funding mental health support. The initiative has raised £5,030 for local charity Springfield MIND and resulted in 1,006 new battery collection points at business sites.
Valpak’s Head of Procurement, Jon Clement, said: “In the UK, around 40,000 tonnes of portable batteries are sold each year. However, in 2018, only 8,000 tonnes were recycled. Without the correct treatment, waste batteries leak toxic waste and can cause dangerous fires in recycling facilities. This causes huge problems for local authorities.
“Through the #PowerToDoMore campaign, Valpak has launched a consumer campaign to improve public awareness and drive participation. We are also focusing on carbon by expanding our zero-carbon battery collection service and, finally, we have been supporting our local mental health charity MIND by donating £5 for every battery collection box ordered. Since the campaign started, 1,006 battery collection boxes have been ordered; once full, this represents a whopping 15 tonnes – or 750,000 AA batteries – to be collected.”
Batteries are typically collected at retail outlets or through household waste recycling sites. Valpak’s campaign has:
developed free tools for local authorities to communicate with business customers, encouraging them to segregate waste batteries.
partnered with North Tyneside Council to launch a consumer campaign around battery disposal.
invited all school pupils in the South Tyne and Weir area to take part in a competition to design a poster highlighting the potential fire hazards of discarded batteries. The winners will be displayed on GAP waste collection vehicles.
Valpak was the first to introduce a carbon-free, cycle courier collection service. Its Cambridge and London schemes have been so successful that they have generated 7.369 tonnes – around 368,450 – waste batteries for recycling. The scheme continues to grow, recently moving into Hoxton and Waltham Forest.
Clement said: “We all have the #PowerToDoMore. We decided to cover as many aspects of the supply chain as possible. Valpak staff are very active in supporting local charities and, as well as trying to drive battery recycling and cut carbon, we decided we wanted to assist those who may be struggling in these challenging times.”
Emily Styles, Fundraiser at Springfield MIND, added: “We’d like to give a massive thank you to Valpak, who are supporting Springfield Mind with a donation as part of their PowerToDoMore battery box recycling campaign. The need for our services is greater than ever and this is set to grow well into the future due to the legacy of Covid; therefore, we are so thankful that Valpak have chosen to donate vital funds to support us with our mission to promote wellbeing and prevent mental health problems in Warwickshire and Worcestershire.”
Through #PowerToDoMore, Valpak has donated £5 to MIND for every battery collection box ordered. Battery boxes are free of charge for commercial businesses and retail outlets. To date, an additional 1,006 boxes have been ordered, raising a total of £5,030.
In North Tyneside, new signage on waste collection vehicles explains the correct way to dispose of waste batteries.
Pupils in the South Tyne & Wear area can take part and submit their poster design to their school by 6 January. The school will judge the entries and enter three chosen designs, to be judged by the final judging panel. There will be two winners of £100 each. The winning designs will appear on GAP waste collection vehicles in the North East.
Valpak is the largest environmental compliance scheme in the UK. It works with major names, such as J Sainsbury’s, ASOS, and Miele, and manages compliance for more than 4,000 businesses. In 2017, it celebrated its 20th anniversary.
In 2018, Valpak was purchased by Reconomy. Reconomy is the UK’s market-leading provider of outsourced recycling and resource management services. It manages approximately 3 million tonnes of waste annually, and works with thousands of UK businesses – from SMEs through to large blue-chip companies – helping them to manage their waste in a responsible, sustainable and cost-effective way. Reconomy principally operates across four key sectors: commercial construction, housebuilding, infrastructure and business & industry.
In 2016, following a request from a major retailer, Valpak launched its Data Insight Platform. The platform is a bespoke product which allows customers to scrutinise their supply chains. It can be used to monitor areas such as sustainability in packaging, or to ensure that CSR goals such as the Modern Day Slavery Act are met.
Valpak services include:
compliance under Packaging, WEEE, and Battery Directives;
data management services;
recycling services (total waste management options and solutions for niche materials);
accreditation under environmental schemes, such as Zero Waste to Landfill.