In many bars and clubs, so-called “illuminators” are used under the glass bottle in order to illuminate it in darker places. A lighting module and its battery is problematic for the glass sorting because it sticks to the glass fraction. Fixed on the bottom of e.g. spirit bottles, illuminators generate light via led lamps powered by lithium batteries.
As soon as a lithium battery is damaged and its contents come into contact with oxygen in the air, it spontaneously ignites.
The waste management sector faces frequent fires in plants treating metals (batteries form electric bikes and steps), WEEE (batteries from laptops, I-pads, I-phones,…) paper (birthday and event cards).
But the presence of lithium batteries in glass waste is a new phenomenon, and all the more dangerous because, given that glass is a non-flammable material, glass recyclers have only exceptionally had to deal with fires starting in their facilities.
FERVER recommends brands to limit to a minimum the use of illuminators and insist on the development of a positive eco-design, combined with the right instruction to the users, allowing an easy separation of the illuminator once the bottle is discarded. The bottle, free of its illuminator device, is thrown in a bottle bank, while the illuminator with its led and lithium battery goes to e.g. waste islands accepting it as electronic device treated as WEEE.