China takes on illegal lead battery recycling in new plan

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will crack down on illegal lead recycling and aims to raise the collection rate of lead acid batteries for recycling to 70 percent by 2025, the environment ministry said on Thursday in a new plan to tackle a major pollution problem.

China’s growing reliance on batteries for cars, electric bicycles and energy storage has increased recycling demand, but much of it has been met by illegal, informal enterprises with poor health and pollution standards, the ministry said in a policy document.

According to a 2017 industry estimate, China produces around 3.3 million tons of waste lead batteries every year, and less than 30 percent of them are properly recycled.

Reporting by David Stanway; editing by Christian Schmollinger