Thursday, April 1, 2010

Luton Mall to test Battery Recycling Initiative

The Retail Bulletin

The Mall Luton is set to become one of the first shopping centres in the UK to trial an end-of-life battery recycling scheme for shoppers.

Teaming up with battery manufacturer Varta and recycling provider BatteryBack, it will provide a collection point in the centre for visitors to dispose of their old batteries from the 1st February. The trial has been designed to coincide with the UK’s 1st February launch of the Batteries Directive, a new EU-wide ruling that imposes strict targets on the manufacturing, collection and recycling of batteries.

The Batteries Directive aims to cut down on the 600 million waste batteries that end up in landfill each year, and to help consumers play their part in Luton, an end-of-life battery collection point will be placed in The Mall shopping centre. To encourage take up of the scheme, which will be rolled out in Malls across the UK if successful, Varta will be providing free batteries to the first 1,000 people who visit the centre to recycle their old ones.

Every year, the average UK household disposes of more than 21 batteries as part of their general waste. This translates to over 22 tonnes of battery waste sent to landfill annually. With experts predicting that the UK will run out of landfill space in the next few years, increasing battery recycling rates is a crucial way of trying to reverse this trend.

Lavinia Holland, Marketing Manager at The Mall Luton says “The UK is lagging behind its European neighbours with regards to battery recycling. The key to improving recycling rates here is making sure households have easily accessible drop-off points, so that’s why we will be placing highly visible collection points throughout the centre. Our shoppers in Luton have always been very supportive of our recycling campaigns in the past, and I’m sure we will have the same success this time around.”

The batteries recycling trial forms part of The Mall’s EnviroMall initiative, a commitment to reducing the impact of its shopping centres on the environment. It comes on the back of the Come Home for Christmas campaign, which helped raise over £10,000 for the charity Missing People by recycling old mobile phones. The scheme is also being supported by BatteryBack, one of the largest suppliers of battery collection and recycling materials for the coming directive.