Consumer Awareness & Advocacy
In light of the European Commission’s Batteries Directive, the European Portable Battery Association (EPBA) proposed an ambitious timeframe for phasing out button cell batteries containing mercury in line with the Commission’s environmental and sustainability objectives. Further, the organization identified an apparent need for public education surrounding the health risks of small children ingesting small cell batteries which may fall out of appliances. In order to effectively shape battery use, collection and disposal standards, and drive understanding and adoption among the public and European Parliament, EPBA required a comprehensive and clearly defined public education program.
Kellen actively engaged with the key members of European Parliament to develop solid argumentation to support EPBA’s position, and executed an advocacy campaign in support of banning mercury in button cell batteries. One of the critical concerns was the transition period needed for a gradual phase-in of the full ban, while avoiding the initial threat by a European Parliament proposal for the industry to actively recall the non-compliant batteries. This would have resulted in a significant financial and environmental burden. To address this concern and continue moving our objective forward, we arranged constructive dialogues with the key-decision makers to explain the practical consequences which were supported by industry data.
Additionally, Kellen proposed and developed a consumer-facing website, Button Battery Safety, with information on how to avoid incidents and how to react, as well as messaging aimed at medical professionals about which protocols to follow. EPBA uses this website as a platform to position the industry in a proactive way to various stakeholders, and as a means of communication to the wider public alongside factsheets and shareable video content.