Source: CSIROSource: CSIRO

Australia could lead the world in the reuse and recycling of lithium-ion batteries, addressing this waste that is growing by 20 percent each year, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Lithium Battery Recycling in Australia addresses growing demand for lithium-ion technology, currently used in vast quantities in electronic and household devices. Only 2 percent of Australia’s annual 3,300 tons of Li-ion battery waste is currently recycled. At the current growth rate, this waste could exceed 100,000 tons by 2036.

Low battery-recycling rates can be overcome through better understanding of the importance of recycling, improved collection processes and implementing ways to efficiently recycle materials. An effective recycling industry could also stabilize global lithium supplies to meet consumer demand.

Most of Australia's battery waste is shipped overseas, and the waste that remains is landfilled, posing environmental contamination and human health risks. If recycled, 95 percent of components can be turned into new batteries or used in other industries.

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