I beleive that the retailer / manufacturer has a responsibility for this as well as the local authority.
The reason that the life of these batteries has gone down is largely because the cells are smaller and lighter to meet cunsumer demand, are manufactured down to a price, sold at a large margin (it is Apple after all but all manufacturers do this) and the compromise they arrive at doesnt have a terribly long lifetime.
Lithium Ion cells don't like living in a hot environment (and laptops are hot!) and are a limited number of charge / discharge cycles.
If you don't use the battery all the time one of the recommendations (I havent tried it so I can't guarantee it) is to have it 80% charged and keep it in a plastic food bag in a fridge at around 5 degrees!
Ex <n>ildram , been to SKY MAX - 15,225 Download
BE Unlimited - 21,000 Download 1,200 Upload ON THE LINE THAT SKY COULD ONLY PROVIDE 15,255 DOWN AND 800 UP ON!!!,
Moved house, now BE Unlimited 6,500 Down, 1Mb/s up - gutted!
FTTC Cab installation commenced 12th April - expect full 80 / 20 - bye bye BE, hello BT Infinity soon!