Throwing primary, also known as single-use, batteries in the trash wastes valuable resources. Like glass, plastic, or paper, materials in batteries can be recycled to reduce our consumption of vital resources such as steel, manganese, and zinc.
A few years ago, the amount of energy consumed and the greenhouse gas emissions released through battery recycling outweighed the benefits. Today, making batteries from recycled materials is less energy intensive than mining new, original materials. Steel, manganese, and zinc can all be stripped from consumer batteries and used to reduce our consumption of these vital resources. In 2011, an MIT life cycle analysis showed that under the right circumstances, recycling single-use batteries can have a positive impact on the environment.
In order to create significant change, we believe that everyone who benefits from batteries must have some level of responsibility in their disposal. A coordinated, national approach to battery recycling is critical to success. That’s why we’re working with retailers, recyclers, environmental groups, and governments across the country to promote the removal of spent consumer batteries from the normal waste stream.
Battery recycling is critical to minimizing the impact batteries can have on our environment, but it’s not the only solution. By taking a holistic approach across sectors, we can approach how batteries are designed, developed, and manufactured to maximize utility with minimal environmental impact.