Vermont Recycle Map GradientOn May 8, 2014, the Vermont General Assembly passed House Bill 695, an “act relating to establishing a product stewardship program for primary batteries”. Signed by Governor Peter Shumlin on May 22, the law is the first in the nation requiring producers to finance a collection and recycling program for primary batteries.

Bill Summary

Beginning on January 1, 2016, “producers” cannot sell primary batteries in the State unless they participate in an approved “Stewardship Plan” (Plan) which provides free collection and recycling of primary batteries for consumers. The law covers all primary batteries (i.e., alkaline, lithium primary, zinc carbon, silver oxide, etc.) weighing two kilograms (4.4 lbs.) or less.

Obligated Steward

The organizations responsible are referred to as “producers”, and are defined as the following:

  • Manufacturer selling primary batteries in the state under the manufacturers own name or brand
  • Brand/license/trademark owner selling primary batteries in the state
  • Importer selling a primary battery into the state for sale or distribution

Primary Battery Definition and Exemptions

“Primary batteries” are defined as non-rechargeable batteries weighing two kilograms (4.4 lbs.) or less, including alkaline, carbon-zinc, and lithium metal batteries. “Primary batteries” does not include:

  • Batteries intended for industrial, business-to-business, warranty or maintenance services, or non-personal use
  • Batteries sold in a computer, computer monitor, computer peripheral, printer, television, or device containing a cathode ray tube
  • Batteries not easily removable or is not intended to be removed from a consumer product
  • and Batteries sold or used in a medical device, as that term is defined in the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act

Also, producers with a total retail value of less than $2,000 annually from the sale of primary batteries are exempt from the law.

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