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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) impact on battery recycling in India


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) impact on battery recycling in India CSR is an indispensable part of business, emphasising a company’s commitment to ethical and sustainable practices. One facet of CSR that has gained significance in recent years is Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). EPR is a policy approach wherein manufacturers are held accountable for the complete lifecycle of their products, including their eventual disposal or recycling. This blog explores the impact of EPR on battery recycling in India, highlighting the environmental and socio-economic implications of this responsibility-sharing model.

The Battery Recycling Challenge in India

India is among the fastest-growing economies in the world, leading to a substantial increase in the consumption of electronic devices and, subsequently, batteries. The widespread use of batteries in mobile phones, electric vehicles (EVs), laptops and renewable energy storage systems has resulted in a growing need for effective recycling and waste management. However, the country has faced considerable challenges in this area.

1.1 Environmental Impact

India’s insufficient battery recycling infrastructure has led to significant environmental concerns. Batteries contain hazardous materials like cadmium, lead and lithium, which can seep into the soil and groundwater, posing a severe threat to the environment and human health.

1.2 Socio-economic Impact

India’s battery recycling sector is often characterised by informal, unregulated operations that expose workers to unsafe conditions. Additionally, the lack of awareness and involvement from battery manufacturers and producers has hindered progress in this area. This has raised concerns regarding social equity and labour rights.

The Introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

To address the challenges associated with battery recycling and waste management, India introduced the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). EPR mandates that battery producers and manufacturers take responsibility for their products’ entire lifecycle, from production to disposal. This includes ensuring the proper collection, recycling, and disposal of used batteries safely.

2.1 EPR Framework in India

The EPR framework in India, specifically for batteries, was introduced in 2010 under the e-waste management rules. It holds battery manufacturers accountable for establishing collection mechanisms, setting up recycling centres, and managing the safe disposal of end-of-life batteries.

2.2 Goals of EPR in Battery Recycling

EPR in battery recycling aims to achieve several key objectives:
  • Reduce Environmental Impact: EPR minimises the release of hazardous substances into the environment by ensuring the safe collection and recycling of batteries.
  • Promote Sustainability: EPR encourages using environmentally friendly materials and processes in battery manufacturing.
  • Support Green Jobs: A well-structured EPR system can generate jobs in the recycling and waste management sectors.
  • Raise Awareness: EPR programs can educate consumers about responsible disposal and recycling practices.
  • Improve Informal Sector Integration: EPR can help formalise and improve working conditions for informal recyclers by regulating the sector.

The Impact of EPR on Battery Recycling in India

The introduction of EPR in battery recycling has significantly impacted various aspects, including the environment, the economy, and society.

3.1 Environmental Impact

3.1.1 Reduction in Hazardous Waste

EPR has led to a considerable reduction in the improper disposal of batteries. Manufacturers now establish collection points and recycling centres, ensuring that a more significant percentage of end-of-life batteries are appropriately handled and processed, reducing the release of hazardous substances into the environment.

3.1.2 Promoting Sustainable Practices

Under EPR, manufacturers are incentivised to invest in sustainable materials and technologies in battery production. This shift towards eco-friendly practices not only benefits the environment but also fosters innovation and competitiveness in the industry.

3.2 Economic Impact

3.2.1 Job Creation

The implementation of EPR in battery recycling has created new employment opportunities. Establishing collection and recycling centres, along with the formalisation of the recycling sector, has led to the creation of green jobs, particularly in waste management and recycling facilities.

3.2.2 Market Growth

The increased focus on responsible battery disposal and recycling has increased the market for recycling technologies and services. As the recycling infrastructure develops, it attracts investments, further boosting the economy.

3.2.3 Cost Sharing

While EPR places responsibility on manufacturers, the costs associated with recycling and disposal are shared. This cost-sharing model helps ease the financial burden on local governments and taxpayers while promoting corporate accountability.

3.3 Socio-economic Impact

3.3.1 Formalisation of the Recycling Sector

EPR has played a crucial role in formalising the battery recycling sector in India. Previously, this sector was often characterised by informal and unregulated operations. Now, with manufacturer involvement and government oversight, the industry is becoming more structured and safe for workers.

3.3.2 Labor Rights and Worker Safety

Integrating informal recyclers into the formal sector has improved working conditions and safety standards. Workers involved in battery recycling are now more likely to have access to protective equipment and training, reducing health hazards.

3.3.3 Consumer Awareness

EPR programs are also instrumental in raising awareness among consumers about the importance of responsible battery disposal. With collection points set up by manufacturers and public awareness campaigns, more individuals are participating in recycling efforts.

Challenges and Future Prospects

4.1 Implementation Challenges

Despite the positive impact of EPR on battery recycling in India, there are still implementation challenges to overcome. These challenges include:
  • Lack of Awareness: Many consumers remain unaware of the EPR concept and their role in it.
  • Enforcement Issues: Ensuring manufacturers meet their EPR obligations is an ongoing challenge.
  • Infrastructure Development: India must invest in recycling infrastructure to accommodate the increasing volume of waste batteries.
  • Informal Sector Integration: Further steps are needed to integrate informal recyclers into the formal sector better.

4.2 Future Prospects

  • Policy Refinement: Ongoing refinement of EPR policies can address existing challenges and adapt to the evolving battery industry.
  • Technological Advancements: Continued investments in recycling technologies may improve the efficiency of the recycling process.
  • Public Awareness Campaigns: More efforts to educate the public about responsible battery disposal are crucial.
  • Collaboration: Collaboration between the government, manufacturers, and recycling organisations can lead to more effective battery recycling initiatives.


Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) has brought about positive changes in battery recycling in India, addressing environmental concerns, creating jobs, and formalising the recycling sector. The impact of EPR on battery recycling not only benefits the environment but also contributes to India’s economic growth and promotes social equity. However, there are still challenges to overcome, and continued efforts in policy refinement, technology advancement, and public awareness are essential to ensure the long-term success of EPR in India’s battery recycling industry. As India continues to grow as a major consumer of electronic devices, the responsible management of batteries has become increasingly important, and EPR is a crucial tool in achieving this goal.

Diksha Khiatani

A writer by day and a reader at night. Emerging from an Engineering background, Diksha has completed her M. Tech in Computer Science field. Being passionate about writing, she started her career as a Writer. She finds it interesting and always grabs time to research and write about Environmental laws and compliances. With extensive knowledge on content writing, she has been delivering high-quality write-ups. Besides, you will often find her with a novel and a cuppa!