Annual report

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3,631 tonnes
Collected weight
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Collection points
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Collection rate
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> 90%
Collection efficiency

2021 by the numbers

“2021 was a great year for Bebat. It saw our total collections grow by 8% - about 300 tonnes - which we managed to achieve despite being able to do less collections in many collection points in shops and schools due to covid restrictions! We also gained 416 new participants since 2020, pushing our total to 4,090. Another surprising finding was the 9% growth in the battery market, particularly in portable batteries.

Batteries change. And so has the way we collect them.
Last year we launched an exciting new project aimed at installing smart collection units at 17,000 of our 24,000 collection points. The change has already taken place in all recycling parks and we’re currently working our way through the other targeted locations.

What’s special about our smart collection units? They let us know when they’re full, so we can do fewer (but more efficient) collections which saves us about 100,000 km of driving and 18,000 kg of CO2 emissions annually. This innovative system is now also being tested in several of European countries, as well as in Australia and Canada. The units were awarded a silver Henry van de Velde Award for Business Innovation. Naturally, it’s a point of pride for us!”

The battery market of tomorrow
“The battery market is growing, especially when it comes to larger rechargeable batteries such as those used in cars and (increasingly) homes. With this in mind we’re very pleased that the home battery sector has chosen to work with Bebat from 2022 onwards.
There is also increasing creative reuse of these larger batteries in a wide range of applications. At Bebat we seek to encourage this creativity around reuse, which is why we actively supported several relevant projects both financially and practically throughout 2021.

The continued growth of the battery market is creating real challenges with regard to recycling, especially when it comes to lithium-ion batteries. The current European recycling capacity is insufficient. We’re currently able to recycle about 21,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries every year. In order to keep up with projected demand, that number needs to balloon to 500,000 or 600,000 tonnes by 2030! Bebat is actively working with various partners to find solutions to this problem.

Bebat in 2022
“Simply put, our first priority is always to collect more and recycle better. The market is growing fast, so our collection capabilities must grow even faster! Since rechargeable Li-ion batteries are playing an increasingly central role in the global battery industry, one of our main tasks in 2022 is to spread awareness among consumers and companies that these batteries also need to be dropped off for collection.

Much of our success will depend on communication and activation campaigns, which typically increase our collection numbers by 20-30%. We are allocating additional resources to this in 2022 to ensure success.

In addition to these campaign drives, the accessibility and ease of use of our collection network is also essential for improving results. Therefore, we aim to complete the rollout of our 17,000 smart collection units by mid-2022.
As of January 1st 2022, Bebat’s environmental contribution has once again decreased, this time by about 7%, bringing our environmental contribution down by a total of 57% since 2013. In the coming year we also plan on integrating home batteries into the Bebat system as efficiently as possible to make it as easy as possible for our participants!

Circularity is and will remain a key strategic goal for Bebat, which is why we will keep encouraging and supporting projects that aim to reuse batteries in innovative and sustainable ways.”

Thank you, Belgium
“We want Bebat to keep growing, including in 2022. But this ambition is only made possible thanks to the goodwill of 11 million people. And thanks to all the participants who help us innovate every day. We are incredibly grateful to you all. At Bebat, we want to earn your trust and recognition every single day by communicating clearly, being transparent at all times, and working as hard for the best collection and recycling process as we can.”

Peter Coonen
Managing Director
Yves Van Doren


At Bebat we work for a better environment by collecting ever more used batteries and recycling them ever better.
We make the collection and recycling process as easy, safe and efficient as possible.
We stimulate sustainable use, collection and recycling through a wide-ranging and transparent communication strategy.


Bebat is a non-profit association (NPO) established in 1995 by the battery manufacturers to enable companies to meet the take-back obligation. 

Bebat gives new life to used batteries and ranks among the world leaders in the collection of used batteries. At our more than 24,000 collection points, used batteries can be handed in easily and free of charge. Bebat organises their collection as well as the sorting and recycling process.

The Bebat management board is formed by representatives of the following companies, organisations and government authorities: 

What does Bebat do for its participants?



Registering and reporting the number of batteries brought onto the market.


Collection network

Organising and maintaining a nationwide collection network.


Raise awareness

Raising consumer awareness and taking preventive actions.


Collection objective

Reaching the legal collection targets.


Reporting weight

Reporting the collected weight.


Recycling correctly

Recycling the collected batteries in the appropriate manner.


Recycling efficiencies

Achieving and reporting on the legal recycling rates.


Total number of participants.
Number of participants with an annual declaration 
Number of participants with a monthly declaration
Number of participants to bring separate batteries onto the market
Number of participants to only bring batteries onto the market that are insalled in a device
Number of participants to bring onto the market both separate batteries and batteries installed in a device
Batterijen uit pop


Bebat helps participants meet all legal obligations. We try to make the process as simple as possible and to communicate in a transparent manner. 

The audits are key in ensuring that all participants make a fair contribution to the Bebat system. Participants are audited at least once every 3 years. 

Full audits
Online audits

Batteries brought on the market

* Note when using the figures: the figures are sometimes rounded to the unit. This may cause discrepancies between the totals displayed and the sum of the individual digits. 
Rechargeable versus non-rechargeable
Portable - Industrial - Automotive
Built-in versus replacement market
* Note: when using the figures: the figures are sometimes rounded to the unit. This may cause discrepancies between the totals displayed and the sum of the individual digits.
* Note: when using the figures: the figures are sometimes rounded to the unit. This may cause discrepancies between the totals displayed and the sum of the individual digits.


The number of batteries placed on the market in 2021 was 276,597,300 units. This is an increase of 23,331,709 batteries (9%) compared to 2020. This increase is mainly driven by growth in alkaline (16%), lithium primary (7%), nickel hydride batteries (8%), and lithium rechargeable (4%), but is mitigated by a decrease in zinc air (-15%) and zinc carbon (-11%).

In 2021, a total of 56,689 tonnes of batteries were put on the market. The total weight placed on the market in 2021 increased by 198 tonnes compared to 2020. This corresponds to an increase of 0.35%. This constant is the result of an increase in the weight of primary (11%) and rechargeable (general) (2%) batteries and a 30% decrease in ‘propulsion car’ batteries. Finally, there was a 5% increase in the weight of bicycle batteries that were put on the market

The discrepancy between the sharp increase in the number of batteries put on the market and the constancy in the weight put on the market is due to the fact that the increase in number was mainly reflected in the number of portable batteries put on the market. Portable batteries represent 98% of the total number of batteries put on the market, but they only constitute 11% of the total weight put on the market.

It is important to note that this year, too, the weight of portable lithium rechargeable batteries put on the market has increased significantly (+15%), while the number has only risen slightly (+3%). This means that the portable lithium rechargeable batteries put on the market are becoming increasingly heavier. For this, we think primarily of tool batteries and batteries used in different kinds of home and garden robots.

Collection results

Total collection result in terms of weight (in tonnes)
Collection results portable batteries in terms of weight (in tonnes)
Overall collection results per collection channel (in %)

Overall collection results per collection channel  (in %)

In 2021, the total amount of batteries collected in Belgium increased by 8%, or 273 tonnes. This is mainly due to a relaxation of the quarantine regulations compared to 2020, as more was collected mainly in the retail and companies channel.

The impact of Covid-19 remained noticeable in the schools channel: schools were regularly closed or did not admit external parties. Nevertheless, we also achieved good collection results here. The total 8% increase in 2021 for all regions and across all channels aligns with the efforts and initiatives we continued throughout 2021 to maximise the collection figures.

  • The figures here represent the weight of each collection channel by the region and for the whole of Belgium.

In Flanders, companies continued to be the most important collection channel (40%), followed by recycling parks (25%) and retailers (19%). In Wallonia, the recycling parks (31%), companies (29%), and retail (19%) were the important collectors in 2021. In Brussels, the primarily collection channels were retailers (32%) and companies (28%).

Batterijen in doosje

Collection rate

Collection rate 2021 Belgium

59% is the collection percentage achieved by Bebat in 2021, according to the official calculation method used in Belgium. However, this absolutely does not mean that the remaining 41% of batteries ended up in the environment.

Although the absolute collection rate has increased by 8%, there is a slight decrease (0.3%) in the collection rate compared to 2020.  This is explained by a significant increase in the average weight of portable batteries put on the market during the reference year and the two years preceding it. On the other hand, in recent years there has been a strong growth in lithium rechargeable batteries, which have a much longer service life than the reference period of three years used to calculate the collection percentage.

Bebat expects that the weight of rechargeable lithium batteries will continue to increase significantly in the coming years. It is clear that the current method of calculating the collection rate is no longer adequate and that the introduction of a collection rate calculation methodology based on what is available for collection is absolutely necessary.  With a collection percentage of 59%, Bebat easily meets the legal target for Belgium and exceeds the European target of 45% for 2021. Thanks to these results, Bebat remains at the top of the rankings, both in Europe and in the rest of the world.

> 90%
Percentage recycling efficiency

As the legal calculation method does not paint a realistic picture of the actual collection efficiency, Bebat frequently has household waste streams tested for the presence of batteries. 

Several studies have shown household waste to contain just 1 battery per 100 kg of waste. This means that Bebat collects more than 90% of the batteries that consumers want to dispose of.

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Number of consumer movements

Appliances are becoming increasingly smaller, resulting in increasingly lighter batteries and a continuously lower average weight of the batteries collected by Bebat.

To collect the same amount of weight, consumers must return more batteries and, consequently, visit the collection points more often. In 2021, we generated more than 11,520,000 consumer movements.


An image of the Bebat Recycling Process

Sorting and processing

What do we sort and which materials can be recovered?

Processing plants

Recovering metals

What can we manufacture with the recovered materials?
used batteries
used batteries
used batteries
> 500,000
used batteries
used batteries
Watering can
used batteries

The average Belgian and batteries

  • 2 to 3
    The number of times a year the average Belgian hands in his batteries at a Bebat collection point.
  • 134 batteries
    An average family home contains 134 batteries, 31 of which are empty.
  • 80%
    of Belgians claims to return their batteries to a Bebat collection point. On average, Belgians store 74% of their used batteries and return them to a collection point on a regular basis. In addition, 60% of batteries from rechargeable devices are stored and returned regularly. 
  • 24 batteries (*)
    On average, a Belgian buys 24 batteries per year. This amounts to 508 grams (*).17 batteries are bought separately in the store. The other 7 are already in a device.
    (*) Portable batteries only, not including industrial batteries
  • 97%
    are familiar with the Bebat system.
  • 87%
    know the Bebat brand as opposed to just 51% in 2010.
  • 74%
    consider Bebat a role model in the environmental sector.

Bebat 2020 declarations of batteries placed on the market
N.I.S. official population figures 01/01/2020
IVOX battery study 2020
Various household waste analyses 2011-2019

Image of a women who throws batteries in the Bebat collection point

Marketing campaigns

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