Bebat: ‘Belgians collect 3 357 tons of batteries despite corona’
Belgians are champions when it comes to collecting and recycling batteries. In 2020, despite corona, they collected 3 357 tons of batteries, the third-best result since Bebat’s creation in 1995.
2020 was a challenging year. The corona pandemic paralyzed our normal daily life, but Belgians collected 3 357 tons of batteries despite all limitations. Still, this was 7% less than one year before because many collecting points were temporarily closed during the lockdown, Bebat’s annual report explains.
Significantly more e-bike batteries
In 2020, 253 million batteries came onto the market, slightly more (+1%) than in 2019. The slight increase was due to the growth of non-rechargeable batteries, alkaline, and lithium batteries, to be more specific. On the other hand, the number of rechargeable batteries remained stable compared to 2019.
The ‘corona year’ 2020 saw a remarkable increase in the number of bicycle batteries (+44%) and the weight they represented (+39%), which is not a surprise, given the sudden popularity of the e-bike.
Appliances and devices are becoming smaller and smaller, and so are batteries. This implies that the collected weight also decreases gradually.
Covid-19 negatively impacted the collecting results, -7% or -267 tons. In Flanders, most batteries are collected by companies (37%), recycle parks (28%), and retail (19%). In Wallonia, the results are comparable, with 32%, 30%, and 17%, respectively. In Brussels, the main channels for collecting batteries are retail (32%) and companies (28%).
Bebat collects more than 90% of all used batteries. This means the level of efficiency is high. To check efficiency, Bebat regularly analyzes garbage. Several studies indicate that only one battery is found per 100 kg of garbage.
The metals that can be recuperated are alkaline and zinc-carbon (60,4%), nickel-cadmium (19,3%), lithium-ion (7,3%), lead (7,1%), among others.
Top of mind
Most Belgians (97%) know the Bebat system, and 80% say they bring their used batteries to a Bebat collecting point. An average household has 134 batteries: 57 separate batteries, 77 in devices/appliances.
More and more clients find their way to Bebat. Last year, the number of participatory increased by 377 new members to a total of 3 700 participators.
The organization will continue to improve its services and will, therefore, provide 17 000 new, smart collecting boxes in the market. “We keep on supporting initiatives to collect and recycle used batteries,” the organization says in its annual report.
Bebat is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1995 by battery producers. The organization has 24 000 collection points where used batteries are collected. Bebat is responsible for collecting, sorting, and recycling the used batteries.