South Korea’s leading manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries LG Chem has formed a partnership with Envirostream to develop safe and innovative recycling solutions to reduce battery waste.
LG Chem and Envirostream’s forward-thinking approaches are expected to elevate battery-recycling systems in Australia to a whole new level. Originally, used batteries were sent overseas for recycling or left in landfills.
However, with Envirostream’s ISO 14001 accredited modular, 95 per cent of the resources from end-of-life batteries can be safely recovered before being sent to metal and battery manufacturers to be converted into raw materials for new battery production. This initiative is the first step to allow LG Chem to be closer to achieving its environmental mission as well as bringing a truly circular economy to its Australian operations.
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Established in 2017, Envirostream is a new, ambitious company specifically designed to develop safe and innovative, on-shore processing solutions for rapidly growing issues in the battery waste stream. Recognised as the first company in Australia to recycle lithium batteries, Envirostream recycled 298,240 kilograms of them in 2018 and showed how previously unseen opportunities can be developed and nurtured in Australia’s recovery sector.
Batteries have presented some of the biggest emerging challenges to Australia’s waste stream. According to research conducted by CSIRO, only two per cent of Australia’s annual 3300 tons of lithium-ion battery waste is recycled, with waste predicted to grow by at least 300 per cent each year by 2036.
LG Chem Australia general manager Jamie Allen says, “Starting with Australia, we hope this provides the opportunity to expand sustainable options for lithium-ion battery disposal”.
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