Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

EU Proposing Mandatory Battery Recycling 278

Posted by samzenpus
from the recycle-or-else dept.
Ironsides writes "The BBC Reports that the European Union is working on a directive to mandate battery recycling. Among other things, it will ban more than trace amounts of cadmium and mercury and require all batteries to be removeable. If it passes, it will be interesting to see how this affects such devices as MP3 players that generally do not have removeable rechargeable batteries."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

EU Proposing Mandatory Battery Recycling

Comments Filter:
  • OMG! (Score:4, Funny)

    by NeMon'ess (160583) * <flinxmid&yahoo,com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:30PM (#15259147) Homepage Journal
    Then there will be a seam on the back of iPods where the battery meets the casing and nobody will buy them anymore because they're so ugly!!!!
    • Re:OMG! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by matt21811 (830841) *
      If Apple cant redesign the iPod to have a removable battery and also make it look good then no-one can.
      • They'll design it so that the battery meets the iPod with a single, seamless contact. The iPod will determine whether it's in contact with the positive terminal or the negative terminal based on what side of the contact receives pressure. If both terminals touch the iPod, it will assume that they're both a single positive terminal that's touching it in both places.

        Also, the click wheel will be replaced with a "click ball" about the size of the ball bearings used in roller skate wheels.
    • Nice joke, but it is based on false impressions.

      iPod batteries are pretty easily removable. Just because there isn't an obvious latch or screw holes doesn't mean it is hard to get inside the unit. I'd think that a crowd that has so many people that are proud of themselves for being able to "build" computers would be able to figure out how to get inside them.
      • Thanks.

        Never-the-less, depending on how the EU law is worded, it may require the battery removal to be obvious to a more casual user. After all, even a soldered-down battery can probably be removed by you or I with a flat-head screwdriver or maybe just a good hard yank.
        • Re:OMG! (Score:3, Funny)

          Why not just reclassify and sell the iPod as a good looking battery with a few extra marketing features, such as the ability to play music?
        • After all, even a soldered-down battery can probably be removed by you or I with a flat-head screwdriver or maybe just a good hard yank.

          True, but it's not just a question of removing the old battery, but also to properly insert the replacement battery. And for that, you would indeed need the proper tools, i.e. a soldering iron.

    • Heh - the ipods can actually be opened already. Squeeze the case at the sides, and the clips will pop open; apply a little leverage by something that isn't sharp (won't damage the case) and it just comes off, easily. Then you can flip the battery forward; if you want to remove it or replace it with a third-party battery, of which several exist, all you need to do is poke a clip to disconnect it and pull it off the stickypads.

      This legislation won't have any effect on the iPods; it may make Apple make the ho
  • Very brave (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:32PM (#15259159)
    How very bold of the politicians to remove mercury from batteries now that the packaging on most batteries advertises "Mercury Free!". And getting rid of cadmium is a risky political move now that every device worth it's salt uses Lithium-Ion technology! Bold, bold moves from truly noble men and women.
    • Re:Very brave (Score:5, Informative)

      by zippthorne (748122) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:38PM (#15259192) Journal
      Heh, lithium ion batteries in devices worth their salt [wikipedia.org]
    • Re:Very brave (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jmv (93421) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:40PM (#15259204) Homepage
      It's may not be bold, but at least it's realistic. The industry has shown they can do without Mercury and Cadmium, now they'll have to remove them from everything. It would be useless to say "no oil in cars anymore" if there isn't a real (practical, proven) alternative. However, once (e.g.) half the cars are conferted to cleaner stuff, they *could* do such a thing (not saying they will).
    • So then why haven't other countries and unions already imposed similar directives?

      • Because it's pointless?

        It's not like we just discovered that Cadmium and Mercury are bad for us and the environment. This isn't new science - this isn't a government decision based on recent discoveries. The only thing new here is that the battery market uses less cadmium and mercury now, so the politicians can safely pass some pointless legislation that makes them sound like they care. If they were really noble creatures, then they would have been passing this legislation back when NiCad and Alkaline cells

    • Yeah, perhaps they could do something really bold, like banning the use of lead in electronics [wikipedia.org]. On second thought, that's not necessary. The magical invisible market forces have already made sure of that. Nobody uses lead-based solder anymore, right?
    • You've not bought any cordless power tools recently, then. They still come with nickel cadmium batteries.
    • Re:Very brave (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tim C (15259)
      That's certainly true of consumer batteries, but a great many devices come with batteries pre-installed, many of which are not user-removable. How many power tools still use batteries containing mercury or cadmium? How many of those can have those batteries removed and replaced?

      Besides which, even if this is something of a non-issue, introducing the legislation will at least prevent it from becoming an issue again in the future. Not to mention that if the opposite were true, that most batteries would be aff
  • by Killshot (724273) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:36PM (#15259174) Homepage
    Will they recycle lemon batteries [hilaroad.com]?
  • Removable? (Score:5, Funny)

    by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:39PM (#15259194) Homepage
    Any battery is removable [blotorches.com].

  • Not a bad idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bullfish (858648) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:43PM (#15259224)
    Even though mercury and cadmium is not as commonly used in batteries anymore, some countries in Europe there may still use them to a degree. The batteries I would wonder about are the imports that sell for a fifth of the price of a set of duracels. I kind of wonder what they use, but in any event, it wasn't that long ago that I read about a recall of chinese made crayons that had lead in them. So I don't discount anything.

    If nothing else, one the law is in place, it is easy to amend it for future purposes than to draft a new one. The law also probably has something to do with putting in a europe-wide standard for such things as opposed to a hodge-podge of laws.
    • Re:Not a bad idea (Score:3, Informative)

      by ivan256 (17499) *
      Cadmium is *very* common. There aren't very many types of batteries that can deliver sustained, high current like a Nickel Cadmium battery. That's why they use them in Hybrid cars. There aren't any other types of battery that would be suitable for that use that wouldn't either be prohibitively expensive or heavy.

      The batteries I would wonder about are the imports that sell for a fifth of the price of a set of duracels.

      The same stuff that's in the duracells... just a lot less of it. Weigh a cheap battery some
      • Excuse me? I call bullshit. This chart shows the power-delivery capability between traditional lead-acid batteries and Ni-Cd batteries. (Warning PDF file - use Foxit PDF reader!)

        http://www.isco.com/WebProductFiles/Application s /201/Nicad_vs_LeadAcidBatteries_TechBulletin.pdf

        I still use high-end car batteries in my solar-charged energy system. Nickel-Cadmium power drops over time - lead-acid batteries are AFAIK second place to Li-ion batteries, which provide a constant power output until there is no m
        • Perfect explanation is use a Ni-Cd battery bank in a flashlight, run it down, and use a Li-ion battery pack in the exact same flashlight - you'll notice the Li-ion battery bank provides constant power output until it's DEAD, meaning the bulb stays bright instead of gradually dimming with use.

          That's not a bug, it's a feature !

          There are several places where it's usefull to be able to determine how much life the battery has left by simply analyzing the output. It's not fun if the flashlight goes out in t

        • I call bullshit. This chart shows the power-delivery capability between traditional lead-acid batteries and Ni-Cd batteries.

          WTF? First off, when did Lead-Acid batteries enter the discussion? You aren't going to have a portable drill with a Lead-Acid battery attached to it.

          Second, that PDF doesn't show what sustained loads the batteries can take, only current discharge over time/tempurature, and voltage drop.

          Third, the PDF says the EXACT OPPOSITE of everything you are saying in your post! You say NiCD bat

      • Hmmm, my Prius uses NiMH batteries, as do all the other hybrids I know of. NiCd don't last nearly as long and have a lower energy density. NiMH do not contain cadmium and are capable of also delivering high amounts of current. In fact, all of the rechargable AA batteries I see in the stores for cameras and whatnot are now NiMH instead of NiCD. I think NiMH might be a bit trickier to charge, but they suffer much less from the memory problem NiCDs have.
      • ...Cadmium is *very* common...

        And lethal [wikipedia.org] in near-microgram doses when ingested, isn't it?

  • Convenience (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:43PM (#15259225) Homepage Journal
    If there was a convenient way to dispose of "technological waste" such as batteries and computers, then most would not mind.

    However, if you have to call around to chase a moving target to turn risky garbage in, most will just dump it in the regular garbage.

    The trash pickup company could have a policy whereby tech waste is put in say blue bags by the side of the curb with the rest of the trash one day of the month. A small tax on semi-hazardous tech devices could pay for it. Or perhaps regular bags with a pre-determined message/sign taped to it.
         
    • In Norway, any place that sells a thing will also accept the thing for recycling. So a store that sells iPods will also accept iPods for recycling.
    • Re:Convenience (Score:5, Informative)

      by houghi (78078) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @11:44PM (#15259735)
      Welcome to the world. I live in Belgium. and all is already available and done.

      Convenient way to dispose of "technological waste" such as batteries. Check [eiatrack.com]. Many stores and even offices have a box where you can put your empty batteries that are then dealth with in a convinient way. That way you do not have to handle each and every batter single and on your own.

      Tech waste is put in say blue bags. Check. There are several different types of wastebags for different kinds of wast. Larger items, like PC's can be brought back to the store who then handles it further.

      A small tax on semi-hazardous tech devices. Check. It is called eco-tax.

      Regular bags with a pre-determined message/sign. Check. See above. Different kinds of waste have different kinds of bags.
      • A small tax on semi-hazardous tech devices. Check. It is called eco-tax.
        We have a flat-rate of $10 per coomputer and $15 per CRT.

        Not a big deal on a $1500 computer system, but as someone who used to collect and re-deploy "obsolete" gear, $10/$15 per becomes very expensive when you try get rid of a garage full of scrounged gear. Now I won't scavenge stuff unless I know I can sell it.

        Xix.
        • Pay the tax at time of purchase. Solves your problem of scrounging for old equipment that is past some company's useful life but still works for yourself.

          If you want to encourage recycling, charge a larger amount that is mostly refunded once the machine is dropped off at arecycling center. Many states already do something similar for food recyclables, just extend the program for electronic equipment.
          • This has actually been done for a *long* time with automotive parts - see Core Charge [teammiata.com]. Usually you can "break even" on this by returning your old broken part at the same time as you buy the new one.

            (Note that partially this exists because "broken" car parts can be easily refurbished and resold, so they really are buying a moderately-defective part back from you. I'm not sure how true that is with computers.)
    • In France any place that sells batteries (from the supermarket to the tech place) has to take in dead batteries for recycling. They all have visible containers for that purpose.
    • I'd like to see a system where the company that sells a piece of electronics is also responsible for recycling it. For convenience, they could pool resources and contract out to recycling organizations; the main thing I'm interested in is a system that encourages electronics manufacturers to make their products easier (cheaper) to recycle and safely dispose of. Better yet, maybe it would encourage them to make their products easier to repair. Something as simple as making the batteries gadgets like PalmP
    • However, if you have to call around to chase a moving target to turn risky garbage in, most will just dump it in the regular garbage.

      Where do you live? Here in Luxembourg, there are mini-recycling centers with 3 bins (paper/cardboard, glass, batteries) in most villages or town squares, and usually they stay put for years.

  • What is the EU going to do about this little pink guy? [google.com]
  • by _merlin (160982) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:44PM (#15259230) Homepage Journal
    All that's going to happen is the manufacturers will provide a facility for you to return the device so they can remove the battery. I don't think the bill says batteries have to be user-removable, just removable.

    This could potentially affect things like real-time clock chips, though. You'd either have to make the whole chip removable, or use an external battery. "Suicide batteries" in arcade game cartridges could also come under this.

    As for banning cadmium - how will cordless power tools go? NiCd still performs better than NiMH or LiIon for high-current applications.
    • Cordless power tools are exempt from the cadmium restriction, so they can continue using NiCd cells. But if I read the article correctly, they must be removable and collected for recycling when you buy the replacement battery. More information and regulation history is available at the EU [europa.eu] web site. On the whole, this is very much in line with the RoHS [wikipedia.org] and WEEE [wikipedia.org] directives. It's surprising they delayed implementation for as long they have.
    • As for banning cadmium - how will cordless power tools go?

      Or hybrid cars, for that matter...

      All that's going to happen is the manufacturers will provide a facility for you to return the device so they can remove the battery. I don't think the bill says batteries have to be user-removable, just removable.

      Many cordless appliances are already made in a way where, if you do something specific but non-obvious, the device breaks open and releases the battery. Both my electric razor and toothbrush have such facili
      • Please provide relevant details to these devices ejecting their battery as a safety measure (you specifically mentioned razors - I've got plenty of old antique and new-age powered razors, down to the Fusion razor, and not a single one will EJECT a battery - rather, they'll burn their own diode or resistor out and just not provide any electrical current to the device, period. I think this has been a normal safety procedure for at least twenty years, if not longer, judging from the requirements of knowledge t
    • NiCd still performs better than NiMH or LiIon for high-current applications.

      Where do you live? I can tell you that in RC world every high current application is dominated by NiMH for the past four or so years. Yes, that's where you pull >200A from the cells for a few seconds at a time. No NiCd ever came close to what can we do with NiMH today.

  • by caller9 (764851) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:45PM (#15259241)
    MP3 players will get thrown away by their owners with the battery still inside, it's not like they're going to pay the trash man to open every bag, open the device, and then write up a report to start an investigation on who dumped it. Unless they serialize the batteries and have expensive procedures to track manufacturers that have a low occurance of recycling...hope I don't give them ideas. I'm sure an expensive public information campaign is also in the works with television shots of dead babies covered in batteries.

    Future models will likely have a cell-phone like removable battery with a slide/screw off case. Several people will comply to save the babies.

    My question: What are they going to do about computer CMOS batteries, and other really embedded batteries. Why stop there, we need to put an end to the electrolyte seepage from large capacitors.

    Who uses NiCad anymore anyway? NiMH is all I've seen for some time. Though I'm not a battery expert, I assume NiCad is still used in cheaper devices. The "memory" on those batteries was always horrible, charge it once before it was almost completely dead and that's the new lifetime unless you work to rebuild its capacity.

    Chalk this one up to expensive and ineffective legislation to make a news story and do little else.
    • NiCd is still used in applications that demand high current. Things like power tools, small mobile cranes, spacecraft, aviation, RC models, etc. LiIon and NiMH are better for most things, though. They're much lighter, don't suffer from memory effect and/or voltage depression. That's why you don't see NiCd anywhere near as much, now.
    • by quanticle (843097) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:58PM (#15259303) Homepage

      NiCd batteries are still used in power tools and other industrial applications because of their ability to deliver large amounts of current quickly.

    • it's not like they're going to pay the trash man to open every bag, open the device, and then write up a report to start an investigation on who dumped it

      I don't know. It is Europe after all.
    • Nations that have been around a lot longer than the United States of America have had plenty of time to think about waste management and other issues that can be swept under the table for only a few hundred years; certainly more than you chose to put into your comment.

      For example, in Germany the cost of the individual throwing away the MP3 player would be calculated in advance of the product being placed on the shelf, and the company producing the MP3 player would be required to pay for the disposal costs [colby.edu] o
      • by Fred_A (10934)
        Player makers could start a program like the one that exists for toner cartridges where you can mail your dead player for recycling for free.

        I know that if my iRiver H320 died and I couldn't find a way to change the battery (unlikely given the number of dedicated battery stores on the web, but you never can tell), I'd consider several options :
        • use it as an external USB2 disk, although 20 GiB isn't much it's better than a key drive
        • extract the disk to upgrade my old Sony laptop and drop the batery in one of
      • Nations that have been around a lot longer than the United States of America have had plenty of time to think about waste management

        Yes, older countries like China, Russia, etc. know better... Whoops, not what you had in-mind, huh?

        I guess the more elitist Europeans like yourself don't need any facts to support your claims, either.

        Hint: The USA is a big place... bigger than all of Western Europe. In the USA there are different states, where the laws may vary, just like countries in Europe. Some of these

    • Quanticle forgets one simple property of most rechargable batteries - they have to be conditioned in order to have a lower charge. This is why Apple recommends a constant minimum of 70-80% battery charge, after all, and why at least most NiCd battery makers recommend the same thing to prevent battery conditioning. While Mac users are generally technically-competent (from what I've seen on /., nothing else) They're generally not electronics engineers, so they still have no clue WTF they're talking about. Not
    • The EU directive WEEE (2002/96/EC) is about recycling of electric and electronic waste. In Germany it was implemented as the ElektroG law. So, since 24. march 2006 no electric and electronic devices may be thrown away into normal trash. These devices have to be disposed in a special way and then recycled.

      As the disposal has to be free of cost for private households (also free of cost for businesses if the devices were made after august 2005 AFAIR)
  • by prisoner-of-enigma (535770) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @10:04PM (#15259329) Homepage
    If it passes, it will be interesting to see how this affects such devices as MP3 players that generally do not have removeable rechargeable batteries.

    If you define interesting as "it will increase the overall price with respect to current units, and the increased amount of government regulation and oversight which will require additional tax funds," then yes, I agree with you, it's quite interesting.

    Look, I'm as keen to recycle as the next guy, but since when did government become the solution to all problems? Here's a radical, way-far-out-there idea: if you want the battery industry to change, refuse to purchase devices that are non-recyclable! Nothing stirs an industry quite so quickly -- or so efficiently -- as a consumer revolt. We get greener products, the industry adapts to deliver what we want, and there's no intrusive government leaning over somebody's shoulder telling them what to do. What an elegant solution! It's a pity the knee-jerk reaction these days -- regardless of what continent or island group you're on -- is to scream "Here's a problem! We must demand that government do more to fix it!"
    • by woolio (927141) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @10:32PM (#15259463) Journal
      if you want the battery industry to change, refuse to purchase devices that are non-recyclable! ... the industry adapts to deliver what we want,

      That only changes the problem, without solving it.

      Just because "X" buys only recycled paper doesn't me he is going to put the discarded stuff back in the recycling bin.

      The public wants recycled goods, but it also doesn't want to be bothered with actually recycling them...
    • "...since when did government become the solution to all problems?"

      The same day they formed an army.
    • The problem is the next guy who doesn't give a shit. He will keep buying the cheapest stuff and dump it in the ordinary landfill. In many cases it will be stuff that leaks some poison once it has corroded on the landfill.
      Unless you have some regulation to keep this stuff off the market in the first place.
  • Sounds good to me (Score:2, Interesting)

    by epp_b (944299)
    ...and require all batteries to be removeable

    Well, that part sounds good to me. I think it should be a law regardless of the environmental effect...
  • Hammer... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    If the battery is not removable, you just need a better hammer.
  • by Hao Wu (652581) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @11:37PM (#15259709) Homepage
    Banning something - like the careless disposal of batteries - generally moves the problem to areas you can't control. Before, waste could be dealt with on assumptions of what it contained.

    After this, people will chuck their cell phones into the nearest river, even more directly polluting the environment they tried to protect.

    • by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @11:59PM (#15259821) Journal
      After this, people will chuck their cell phones into the nearest river, even more directly polluting the environment they tried to protect.

      Now WHY would someone do that? Out of spite for the new law? No, I think not.

      This requires shops to collect used batteries at NO COST, so I can't see any reason someone would do something as insane as going out of their way to toss it into a river.
      • "Now WHY would someone do that? Out of spite for the new law? No, I think not."

        Have you never seen piles of litter RIGHT NEXT TO a public trash can? (And one that has plenty of room in it, of course...)

        You don't know teenagers, nor general sociopaths -- they are everywhere. Spite is the LEAST malicious motive they have.

      • by Fred_A (10934) <(fred) (at) (fredshome.org)> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @12:38AM (#15260007) Homepage
        I suppose people in the US would do it because recycling has been government imposed.
        Remember :
        government = bad
        market = good

        From a market point of view, tossing cell phones in a river is sound economics. It creates demand for more cell phones and no charges for recycling the nasty bits. For consumers without a river nearby, just toss it out the window.

        Of course some poor sod (or critter) might get intoxicated by the crap in the cellphone as it dissolves away, but that's life for you. If he had been brighter, ha would have sold phones, made a fortune and bought a clean island somewhere instead of living in a pulluted wasteland. I guess some people just don't get it.
  • As others have pointed out, NiCd batteries are still preferred in many applications. I've still got quite a few around the house myself, actually.

    But hey, at least you can change the battery is your disposable camera. Now if you could just get a law mandating that you be able to change the film too you'd have... a camera.
  • It's great people are doing something about battery pollution but it would be unfortunate if the law just said batteries need to be recylced rather than focusing on the problem. In particular the problem is that batteries usually contain toxic chemicals not that it is intrinsicly important to recycle anything that might transform chemical energy into electricity.

    Hopefully their law just requires all batteries containing the problematic chemicals be recycled so in the future if someone creates a clean/biode
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @01:07AM (#15260119) Homepage Journal
    This allows the end-user to do something most MP3 players do not allow you to do - exchange the old power source for a newer, possibly better one. Not only does this extend the life of the player, but it could very well extend the respect of the player's user, and give a more sustainable profit from a potential long-time customer. Never underestimate the value of interchangable parts, especially when it comes down to the things that seem to matter to people nowdays - guns and music and consoles and other things that are really taken for granted nowdays.
  • by Gunstick (312804) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @01:31AM (#15260208) Homepage
    I would wish that the Industry finally comes up with a standardized lithium-Ion Battery. In some form factor which enables it to be put on many types of devices. E.g. some sort of lego-type snap together or slide-on so if you want more capacity you just put more batteries.
    Yes, not round cells but square ones. Why do batteries have to be round?
    • Because it is efficient to make small batteries by laying the plates together and rolling them into a coil. Same with capacitors. For large batteries (automotive) it is cost effective to make them with layers of plates, but even so traction batteries are often wound construction.

      You can make thin flat batteries (e.g. the ones in Polaroid film, if you can remember the last century), but they are fragile and only really suitable for use built into something.

  • by XNormal (8617) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @02:09AM (#15260316) Homepage
    You can count on manufacturers to come up with ways to make batteries that are removable as required by new EU laws but not replacable (or at least very expensive to replace) so your mp3/whatever is still guaranteed to be unusable in two years.
  • by Palal (836081) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @02:22AM (#15260350) Homepage
    California already passed such a law (http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/WPIE/Batteries/) and requires that all batteries be recycled. While good in theory, this law is hard to enforce unless you dump a couple of pounds of batteries in your garbage. Even then, you can always say it was your neighbor that used your garbage can.

    I've been recycling batteries ever since I can remember. Radio Shack stores used to take non-rechargables and then they quit. I switched to Walgreens, which still accepts them.
  • by PontifexPrimus (576159) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @02:36AM (#15260396)
    In Germany we had the Batterieverordnung [sup-im-net.de] since 1998, and it hasn't had the catastrophic consequences most people in this thread imagine. It just means you can't toss old batteries in the trash (and yes, they do check occasionally) but have to take them back to any store where batteries are sold (not just electronics stores) and dump 'em into the recycling containers conveniently displayed at the entrance of the store. In the case of non-removable batteries you have to turn in your whole device and hand it in at any electronics shop. I really don't see where the problem is with that, and why it should be so much better than the American way of just putting all kinds of garbage in a bag, burying it in a landfill and then forgetting about it until the cancer rates go up.
    • So what if I want to rip my iPod to bits and do the battery replacement myself? Will the store just accept the dead bit?
    • Under the strickt rule of the Batterieverordnung (it is called Verordnung (eng. order) but it has the weight of a law) you are not allowed to sell products which do not have user removeable batteries ind Germany, with a list of exception. These include pacemakers ind implatable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD). For these exempt products the manufacturer has to make sure that at the end of the lifecycle the product is returned to the manufacturer for correct disposal. I have salvaged pacemakers and ICD fro
  • by DrXym (126579) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @04:21AM (#15260615)
    Lots of devices AAA, AA, C, D style batteries. I even have an MP3 player that uses AAA batteries. While these batteries are unsuitable for many devices, it doesn't mean that all laptops, pocket PCs, iPods, mobile phones each need their own bloody battery format. It means when you toss the phone you have to toss the battery even if it would be fine for a comparable device.

    It cannot be beyond the realms of science to design 5 or so "pocket" style batteries for small devices and perhaps 5 or so "laptop" style batteries for larger devices, ranging in power and dimensions and require all consumer devices to use them. The likes of Intel, Nokia, HP could even have a hand in their specification to ensure they were up to the job just as long as they were standardized.

    I can't see any reason whatsoever for the multitude of chargers. It's virtually dictated by the brand rather than the device in that brand. Standardization also means there is no need for the multitude of chargers and docks that every device needs. If the batteries were the same then the chargers could or should be too, meaning less packaging and waste since you could buy the charger separately and use it with many devices.

  • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @04:27AM (#15260633) Homepage Journal
    To tag the idea as stupid shows a complte ignorance about the harmful effects of batteries, specially when disposed in landfills.

    Whoever put those tags deserves to live close to a landfill where these batteries would be freeely disposed.
  • by indaba (32226) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @04:47AM (#15260689)
    It's when I read of such enlighted things like this that I begin to daydream about going back to live in the EU someday.

    Compared to living in Australia, it's tempting because the EU has (my personal top 10 reasons):

    • a richer cultural history ; I love the diversity
    • The Prado, The Uffizi, The British Library, The Musee d'Orsay, etc etc etc
    • the best horses and riding instructors
    • the best skiing
    • it's not an eternity to get anywhere interesting , vs. us stuck here at the arse-end bottom of the world.
    • an EU bill of human rights, and a EU court that will enforce them over any individual state goverment
    • signed up to Kyoto
    • greater diversity and numbers of job opportunities for our kids
    • politically about 20 years ahead of us, Green politics in particular.
    • 15 of the the top 20 most liveable counties are in the EU.
      Most and Least Livable Countries: UN Human Development Index, 2005
      see http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0778562.html [infoplease.com]

    • and skin cancer sucks
      http://www.cancer.org.au/content.cfm?randid=960742 [cancer.org.au]

    • 15 of the the top 20 most liveable counties are in the EU.
      Most and Least Livable Countries: UN Human Development Index, 2005
      see http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0778562.html [infoplease.com]

      I must say, I find it absolutely HILARIOUS that you're using that list to explain your desire to leave Australia for Europe, when Australia is the #3 most livable country according to that list.

      and skin cancer sucks

      Wear sunblock. Plant a few trees. etc.

      I'll take the desert, over the freezing North Atlantic, any day.

  • "The cost of implementing the new rules will be borne by industry. "

    Bullshit.

    The cost is always borne by the consumer. While the idea is worth celebrating, recycling batteries, the lie to sell it to the public is not. These costs will simply be embedded into the cost of the batteries and equipment. While the consumer may not see a "battery deposit" or "battery disposal" fee in writing it will be there.

    I am all for helping the environment and getting industries long ignored into the fold, but damn, do we
  • that takes removable batteries so that I can carry spares around with me and not have to be near a power source (or, say, a laptop) just to have MP3s!

    A couple of AAA batteries in a pocket somewhere are *no* issue at all.

    here it is [samsung.com.au]

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.

Working...