Scoping the initiative "Improving lead-acid battery recycling in Sub-Sahara Africa"

Recycling of lead-acid batteries is carried-out in all parts of the world. In many low- and middle-income countries, operations are often far from international best practice. Lead consuming industries are increasingly aware about potential health and safety risks in their supply chains and introduced policies to mitigate such risks. While this may often lead to suspension of business relationships with suppliers on low- and middle-income countries, the root-causes of the problem remains widely unresolved. In a similar manner, also many battery using industries in low- and middle-income countries (e.g. solar industry, mobile network providers) develop policies on sound business conduct and aim at findings responsible solutions for end-of-life batteries. While these efforts are going in the right direction, they are widely uncoordinated and do not unfold their full market demand for responsible recycling solutions.

For systemic improvements, a combination of push-factors (national regulation and enforcement) and pull-factors (demand for responsible recycling solutions) is needed. The project aims at scoping an initiative to be implemented in Ghana and selected further African countries that combines such push- and pull-factors and that receives the buy-in and support from government, civil society and industry stakeholders.