November 22, 2023: EU leaders have been urged to scrap “cumbersome, lengthy and costly” processes holding back lithium battery recycling services and hampering competition.
Eurometaux, which represents non-ferrous metals producers and recyclers in Europe, said in a newly-released open letter, dated November 3, there are too many bottlenecks in trying to ship end-of-life lithium batteries and their black mass within the bloc because EU countries interpret waste regulations differently.
The letter — co-signed by the European Association for Electromobility and Recharge, the European association for advanced rechargeable and lithium batteries — called for harmonized regulations among member states to fast track shipments of waste batteries and black mass.
In a related move, on November 13, the European Parliament and European Council — the body comprising leaders of individual EU nations that sets the bloc’s political agenda — reached an informal agreement on the proposed Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA).
The agreement now needs to be approved by both parliament and council to become law.
The draft CRMA was published in March. Proposed regulations include an updated version of the EU’s list of critical raw materials and defines, for the first time, a list of strategic raw materials vital to powering the bloc’s green tech agenda, including domestic battery manufacturing for EVs and energy storage systems.
Meanwhile, on November 16, the European Parliament and European Council provisionally agreed on proposed new procedures and controls for shipments involving a range of wastes including batteries.