Ericruyters Rond

Eric Ruyters

Director Stichting Batterijen

All compliance tasks in 2020 realised together

“In 2020, Stichting Batterijen and Stibat Services achieved great results,” says Eric Ruyters, director of Stichting Batterijen. “We once more realised all compliance tasks together. Another highlight: in 2020, Stichting Batterijen turned 25.

Stichting Batterijen was founded in 1995 and consists of a collective of over 1,100 affiliated producers and importers. Stichting Batterijen is a non-profit organisation that directs Stibat Services to execute mandatory producer responsibility tasks. The activities of Stibat Services include, therefore, managing collection points, collecting batteries and accumulators and sorting and recycling these batteries.

Sustainable path into the future

In late 2020, the European Commission submitted a proposal for a Battery Directive. The European Parliament is expected to assess this proposal in 2022. As part of the new Battery Directive, the collection volume will have to increase significantly. Eric explains that the strategy for this is ready. “We will come to face significant challenges together. Challenges that cannot be dealt with in a matter of days. We have to implement measures now to realise our objectives in the future.” The increasing use of portable batteries and accumulators is leading to greater collection, sorting and recycling volumes.

“On top of that, we’re going to encourage end users to submit their used batteries and accumulators earlier and more often. If this doesn’t happen, we’ll never be able to sufficiently increase the collection volume,” Eric adds. These efforts will come at a price. The rates for Stichting Batterijen affiliates will be adjusted on 1 January 2022 to cover these increasing costs. “Through our current policy, Stichting Batterijen aims to realise the objectives before 2025. That way, we can continue the process we started in 1995 for years to come.”

“An extensive network for the collection of bicycle accumulators”

“By now, Stichting EPAC (Electronically Power Assisted Cycles) and Stibat Services have worked together for 5 years to create a national collection network involving bicycle dealerships and waste collection locations,” says Eric Ruyters, secretary of Stichting EPAC. “2020 was the year in which Stichting EPAC turned 5 and we gathered a record number of bicycle accumulators.”

Since its foundation in 2015, Stichting EPAC directs Stibat Services to straightforwardly, safely and responsibly collect bicycle accumulators. The activities of Stibat Services include, therefore, managing collection points, collecting bicycle accumulators and sorting and recycling these accumulators for over 90 affiliates.

Working on communication together

“To properly inform users of electronically power-assisted bicycles, Stichting EPAC has started working on our communication towards the user. In cooperation with Stibat Servies, a communication plan was drafted and communication materials were developed for waste collection locations and municipalities, among others,” Eric says. “Stibat Services also offers advice regarding the safe handling of lithium-ion batteries to professional bicycle dealerships.”

Looking to the future

“The electronically power-assisted bicycle is on the rise. In 2020, in cooperation with Stibat Services, we collected over 75 thousand bicycle accumulators, and this number will continue to increase in the future. Then there is the proposal published by the European Commission for the new Battery Directive. We currently cannot be sure what the Directive will look like in the end.

This will become clearer in the coming year. With our current structure and thanks to our excellent cooperation with Stibat Services, we will be able to quickly and adequately respond to these changes.”

Ericruyters Rond

Eric Ruyters

Secretary Stichting EPAC
Janvlak (wecycle)

Jan Vlak

Managing Director of Wecycle and Stichting OPEN
Group 115

“Stress test in 2020 with Stibat services realised”

Until 2020, Wecycle functioned as a circular implementation organisation for six separate producer organisations. The main goal of the non-profit organisation is the collection and recycling of e-waste. This includes discarded electrical and electronic devices with a plug or (rechargeable) battery, such as kitchen appliances, large white goods, IT, lamps and screens. Wecycle then processes and recycles the e-waste into new raw materials, from which new products can be made.

“Wecycle’s motto: getting something back in return for handing something in. With 13,000 collection points, together with collection partners, we collected 125.5 million kilos of e-waste in 2020,” says managing director Jan Vlak. “Another highlight in 2020 was the establishment of Stichting OPEN: Stichting Organisatie Producentenverantwoordelijkheid E-waste Nederland, a combination of all producers and importers of electrical appliances in the Netherlands to achieve the 65% collection target for e-waste under one flag and to take a major step towards a circular e-waste sector.”

Collaboration with Stibat services

“Wecycle has a so-called shop floor agreement with Stibat Services and together, we collect small electrical appliances. Stibat Services collects these devices, sorts out any batteries and accumulators and from there, we each process and recycle our own process. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 was something we couldn’t avoid. A stress test for the waste management structure, which both Stibat Services and we have passed in full splendour. I’m proud that we’ve achieved what we stand for as chain directors”, says Jan.

“At the same time, our products (those from Stibat Services and Wecycle) are increasingly merging. Electrical devices are increasingly running on a battery or accumulator instead of plugs. That is why we are increasingly working together in the areas of regulation, lobbying and implementation. Also, I think it’s very important to take further steps together in the coming years towards a circular economy, which is based on a raw materials approach, not on sectoral regulations. Plenty of challenges!”

“One-stop shop for car batteries and accumulators”

Auto Recycling Nederland (ARN) was founded in 1995 to drastically improve the processing of end-of-life vehicles and reduce the environmental impact. ARN strives for maximum car recycling that contributes to the circular economy without damaging the (living) environment. ARN collaborates with many partners in the recycling chain, and has done so with Stibat Services for 12.5 years now.

“In the Netherlands, we recycle end-of-life cars up to 98 percent by weight”

12.5 years of fruitful collaboration

“Since 2008, we’ve been working with Stibat Services to ensure all batteries and accumulators in a car can be specified in the same portal by producers and importers. The joint online notification system myBatbase functions as a one-stop shop for the reporting of all batteries in a car,” Hector explains.

Stibat Services takes care of the portable batteries (e.g. button cells in the key and tire sensor), ARN takes care of the collection and processing of starter batteries and drive batteries from vehicles and, of course, for reporting on starter batteries and drive batteries from vehicles. “In 2021, Stibat Services and ARN will be celebrating 12.5 years of collaboration. On to the next anniversary!”

Changing market

“The car market has changed a lot in recent years. All car makes nowadays supply electric vehicles with different battery variants: full-electric, hybrid, mild hybrid, and plug-in hybrid. Many new mild hybrid batteries were introduced in 2020, and the weight categories for these 24V and 48V drive batteries are now also available in myBatbase. In addition, the plug-in hybrid has made a big comeback.

In the coming years, we will frequently seek out collaboration with Stibat Services, especially in view of the European battery regulation that will come into effect in the coming years. In addition, it is interesting to jointly investigate how we can operate and manage the segment between cars and electric bicycles (scooters, Segways, etc.).”

Hector Timmers (arn)

Hector Timmers

Policy consultant Quality Assurance ARN
Group 116