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Vermont lawmakers passed H. 695, “Act Relating to Establishing a Product Stewardship Program for Primary Batteries,” the first single-use battery product stewardship law in the U.S.

Once approved by Gov. Peter Shumlin, the bill will become the first extended producer responsibility law in the U.S. that covers primary batteries of multiple chemistries (e.g., alkaline, zinc carbon, lithium primary silver oxide and zinc air).

The program will go into effect on January 1, 2016.

While some municipal governments and private organizations are already voluntarily collecting and recycling single-use batteries, their efforts have been fragmented and costly. Municipalities in particular have had to carry the burden of collecting batteries without the funds to offset their costs.

To address this issue in Vermont, the bill requires manufacturers to finance collecting and recycling single-use batteries and encourages consumers to recycle through education and outreach programs.

Published in the June 2014 Edition of American Recycler News