June 3, 2024


Battery Stewardship Program to Include

Rechargeable Batteries and Battery-Containing Devices 

Today, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed into law an amendment that expands the scope of the state’s 2014 battery extended producer responsibility (EPR) law to include rechargeable batteries, battery-containing devices, and medium format primary batteries. The bill (S.254) was based on best practices from the Product Stewardship Institute's (PSI's) battery EPR Policy model, and was sponsored by Senators Christopher Bray, Ruth Hardy, Andrew Perchlik, and Rebecca White, and was supported by battery manufacturers and battery recyclers. 

S.254 was spearheaded by Jen Holliday, PSI board member and chair of the Vermont Product Stewardship Council (VTPSC), a group founded in 2008 by Holliday with support from PSI and the Product Policy Institute (now Upstream). The VTPSC, which is comprised of all 16 local solid waste management districts, manages waste throughout the state and has partnered with PSI to enact nine EPR laws in Vermont. 


The existing battery stewardship program in Vermont, first enacted in 2014, was a first-in-the-nation single-use householdbattery EPR law that included PSI’s battery EPR best practices. In 2021, Washington D.C. enacted the nation’s first single-use and rechargeable battery EPR law, which also addressed battery-containing products, initiating a trend toward broadening the scope of batteries included in EPR laws. California followed in 2022 with an EPR law that, like Washington D.C., covers a broad scope of single-use and rechargeable batteries, but added stronger convenience standards and a multi-stakeholder advisory board.  

In 2023, Washington State enacted its battery EPR law, which also covers a broad scope of single use and rechargeable batteries but was the first state to include batteries in e-mobility devices (e.g., bicycles, scooters, hoverboards). It was also the first to require a study of the opportunities and challenges of managing large-format batteries (e.g., electric vehicles and energy storage systems) and those embedded in products, such as electronics, toys, and footwear. Earlier this year, New Jersey became the first state to enact an EPR law for electric and hybrid vehicle batteries, further expanding the landscape of battery EPR.  

In line with the broadening trend of covered battery products, Vermont’s amendment expands the battery stewardship program to include medium format primary batteries, battery-containing devices that are easily removeable, and rechargeable batteries, including larger formats such as electric bikes, starting in January of 2026. Additionally, the amendment requires a feasibility assessment, to be conducted by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, of establishing end-of-life management programs for electric vehicle batteries, battery energy storage systems, and batteries that are not easily removable from products. The study is required to be completed by July 1, 2026. 

PSI holds monthly policy calls with state and local governments on battery EPR policy and works closely with the Portable Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA), Call2Recycle, and other stakeholders to develop consensus on battery EPR bills.  

Contact: Julia Wagner, PSI Marketing and Communications Manager, julia@productstewardship.us; (617)-236-4855

Product Stewardship Institute (PSI)

PSI is a policy expert and consulting nonprofit that pioneered product stewardship in the United States. Since 2000, PSI has helped enact 139 extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws across 19 product categories in 33 states — the bedrock on which the circular economy is built. We work with businesses, nonprofits, academia, and governments to ensure that products are responsibly managed from design to end of life. Join us at www.productstewardship.us.  

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