The report was approved by 578 votes to 17, with 5 abstentions.
Parliament inserted the ban on mercury in button cells (used in watches, toys, remote
controls, etc.) to help reduce the risk of mercury polluting the environment. Button cells
easily escape separate waste collection schemes, thus increasing the risk that they will
pollute the environment.
The new rules will allow existing batteries and accumulators to be sold until stocks are
exhausted. Manufacturers will need to design appliances to ensure that waste batteries
and accumulators can be easily removed, at least by independent professionals.
When the ban comes into force, Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) batteries will only be allowed for
use in emergency systems and lighting, such as alarms, and in medical equipment. In
other appliances, they are being replaced mainly by Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) alternatives.
Cadmium, which is carcinogenic and toxic for the aquatic environment, is already banned
in jewellery, brazing sticks and all plastics, under the REACH regulation on chemicals.