Legislative Decree 188 of 20th November 2008 incorporates European Directive 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators into Italian law.
The legislative decree sets out the rules for the proper handling of waste batteries and accumulators, starting with the producers - or with the consortia, such as ReMedia, that act on their behalf - charged with organizing and handling the separate collection schemes for batteries and accumulators.
It defines, too, the roles of the other parties in the scheme, such as distributors, the municipal Collection Centres, and the general public (go to How the System Functions).
The responsibility of the Producer
The legislation (Legislative Decree 188/2008) starts out from the principle that responsibility is to be borne by the producers, where producers of batteries and accumulators are taken to include anybody that in a professional capacity for the first time puts batteries or accumulators on sale, including those included in apparatus or vehicles.
Producers are responsible for the waste, meaning primarily for funding and organising a system of separate collection and recycling of portable batteries and accumulators and ensuring a service that is uniform across the whole of Italy.
Responsibility also means:
• Not putting batteries or accumulators on the market, including those contained in apparatus, that contain more that 0.0005 per cent of mercury or more than 0.002 per cent of cadmium (in weight)
• Designing apparatus so that the batteries and accumulators they contain can easily be removed, and providing instructions along with the products
• Instructing users to make a separate collection of battery and accumulator waste and putting the "bin-with-the-cross" sign on products
• Signing the register of the subjects under obligations and showing the register entry number on invoices and transport documents.
Recycling: the primary aim
Legislative Decree 188/2008 states that recycling is the primary aim around which to build up the national system for collecting spent batteries and accumulators.
To achieve that aim, the following deadlines have been set:
• 2009: introduction of collection systems specifically for batteries and accumulators;
• 2012: achievement of a 25% collection rate;
• 2016: achievement of a 45% collection rate.