The European Union is working on a "New Battery Directive", which proposes that batteries in electronic appliances be easily removable for replacement or disposal. If this regulation gets the green light, firms like Apple will need to make changes to their products:
Such a regulation would seem to impact Apple's integrated battery design of its iPods and the iPhone, which are somewhat unique in that their batteries are not designed to be user replaceable and typically require special tools or professional assistance to remove them. At the same time however, the directives are not yet completed or ratified, and subject to both modification and exception.
The EU's Battery Directives are designed primarily to prevent toxic batteries from ending up in landfills, not to force manufacturers to develop products with specific features. Apple already offers free recycling for iPods and iPhones. Third party vendors also offer money for dead or broken iPods, further negating much of the concern that users would throw away their iPod with the battery still inside it. The real concern involves appliances with integrated batteries that have little value at the end of their life, few recycling options, and would likely be discarded with the battery intact.