Political agreements on battery waste and the Århus convention top the agenda for next Monday's environment council in Brussels. Ministers will also debate the Reach substance policy reform.
* Battery waste:
Three key issues are outstanding on a proposal to revise the EU batteries directive. Most controversial is the extent of a likely ban on cadmium-containing NiCad rechargeable batteries.
The presidency has proposed exempting power tools, thought to account for 70% of cadmium use in batteries (EED 09/12/04). A small group of member states including Denmark, Sweden and Austria want power tools covered within nine years. A larger group, including Germany, opposes this. Italy and the UK also want to exclude hand-held vacuum cleaners.
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