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Why Recycle

Why should I have to recycle my dead batteries? Well here’s the answer:
  • Each year, 15 billion batteries are made and disposed of which is the equivalent to a column of batteries to the moon and back.
  • In the UK alone, 680 million batteries are bought each year. The average household uses 21 batteries per year. This creates an estimated 19,000 tonnes of general purpose batteries waste alone, of which less than 1000 tonnes are recycled.
  • Batteries disposed into landfill sites can create significant toxic waste and environmental issues. As the battery casing corrodes, toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium and lead are released into the eco-system, giving rise to soil and water pollution, which may in the future cause serious health problems. Our oceans are already beginning to show traces of cadmium which can be toxic to aquatic invertebrates and can bio-accumulate in fish, and makes them unfit for human consumption. Another common compound used in batteries is nickel-cadmium, which is a known human carcinogen. Batteries in landfill is bad news for everyone.
  • There is also a significant carbon expenditure associated with the metal extraction, manufacture, transport, packaging, storage and retailing of disposable batteries that are rubbish after a single use.
Britain is required by the EU Batteries Directive to be recycling 25% of domestic household batteries by 2012 and a minimum of 46% of domestic batteries by 2016.
Currently we recycle less than 5% of our batteries in the UK.

For further information on the EU Batteries Directive and UK Batteries Regulation and policy please click here