First global tech recycling service for lithium-ion batteries

Simpli Return’s offer addresses producers and distributors of lithium-ion batteries from the industry segment and all kinds of electric vehicles

First global tech recycling service for lithium-ion batteries

Interseroh and Saubermacher have pooled their expertise and founded a joint venture for the take-back and recycling of lithium-ion batteries. As the first worldwide take-back system in this area, Simpli Return offers full advice and organisation of professional transport and environmentally friendly recycling.

All services along the entire disposal chain are provided worldwide from a single source. Thanks to the optimised process design, placing an order is simple, the entire recycling cycle is transparent and full documentation is ensured. Special containers ensure safe transport and also the batteries are packed on the site. By using existing infrastructures and skills, the worldwide recycling service can be implemented very quickly.

Interseroh is one of the leading providers of environmental services for the closure of product, material and logistics cycles. For customers across Europe, the company has been developing customised and industry-specific concepts for more than 25 years to prevent waste and operate efficiently. The preparation of used IT and communication devices for reuse is also part of the portfolio.

Saubermacher has been involved in the environmental and recycling industry for almost 40 years. The international company is a leader in battery recycling and commissioned a new high-tech lithium-ion battery plant in Bremerhaven at the beginning of 2018. Following the required antitrust approval, Interseroh will hold 51 per cent and Saubermacher 49 per cent of the joint venture, and the company’s headquarters will be Cologne.

Quantities of lithium-ion batteries are growing at double-digit rates. “Looking at e-vehicles, the 2015 demand was 205 million cells. By 2020, it is expected to be 1.8 billion units. That’s an annual growth of 37 per cent,” explains Ralf Mittermayr, Spokesman for the Management Board Saubermacher. This figure will continue to increase over the next decade, with legal requirements for take-back and recycling differently regulated in each country.

“This situation means challenging disposal issues for manufacturers and distributors. In addition, lithium-ion batteries have a broad spectrum in terms of their composition and due to the relatively recent waste material, the necessary recycling facilities are scarce. “With the special recycling plant in Bremerhaven, we achieve recycling rates that are well above the statutory targets,” emphasizes Ralf Mittermayr.

The handling of lithium-ion batteries is subject to strict legal requirements and requires high safety standards for both damaged and intact batteries. Cross-border transport is extremely complex. In any case, a fully documented proof of utilization must be provided.

With the help of the self-developed online portal, the entire redemption process for customers of “Simpli Return” is greatly simplified and transparent. All data and documents are available at the touch of a button and the batteries can be tracked step by step on their recycling path.

“Bringing together the expertise in logistics and recycling in the area of ​​lithium ion battery take-up is unique even in the digital context and solves the complex requirements of our customers,” says Dr. med. Timo Langemann, member of the management team of Interseroh Dienstleistungs GmbH.