Also read: Indonesia, South Korea’s LG Group Sign Electric Vehicle Battery MOU Worth $9.8 Billion
Lithium batteries have a long-lasting impact if the waste is disposed of irresponsibly. This type of battery contains various metals such as cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), and lead (Pb) which are at risk of contaminating the environment around the disposal site.
The batteries are also known to be prone to catching fire and exploding. They have the potential to cause problems if ended in landfills.
In Australia, the key environmental legislation requires regulators in each state and territory to maintain public registers containing relevant environmental information. The regulators generally keep public registers relating to, among others, environmental licenses and permits, enforcement actions, contaminated land, and water entitlements.
In Indonesia, however, Government Regulation No.22/2021 on environmental protection and management has revoked several related government regulations, including Government Regulation No.27/2012 on the environmental permit and Government Regulation No.101/2014 on the management of hazardous and toxic waste or locally known as B3.
Though these governmental regulations have been revoked, the substantial provisions of these regulations have been included in Government Regulation No.22/2021. Furthermore, existing implementing rules for the revoked regulations are and will be in force until they are replaced by new rules.
Also read: Indonesia Calls for More G20 Action on Climate Change
What needs to be done
Indonesia should draft new regulations on controlling old electric vehicle batteries.
Automotive expert Lluc Canals and colleagues at the School of Industrial, Aerospace, and Audiovisual Engineering of Terrassa conducted a study on old EV batteries. The study found that recycling old battery for battery charging stations can provide environmental and economic benefits. The same benefits can also be obtained through the conversion of used vehicle batteries to power storage for solar power plants.
Besides, Indonesia should look into the possibility of collaborating with foreign investors to recycle lithium batteries into raw materials. Without adequate processing steps, used electric vehicle batteries may be sold abroad or wasted.
The government should find ways to deal with old EV batteries and keep them out of landfills. Manufacturing companies selling electric vehicles and relevant authorities should be able to manage used EV batteries.
(This article is written by Laura Astrid H Purba, Senior Legislative Drafter, who is also a Ph.D. student in Australia and researcher at the University of Indonesia. The views expressed in this article belong to the writer).
Dapatkan update berita pilihan dan breaking news setiap hari dari Kompas.com. Mari bergabung di Grup Telegram "Kompas.com News Update", caranya klik link https://t.me/kompascomupdate, kemudian join. Anda harus install aplikasi Telegram terlebih dulu di ponsel.