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.

Recycle Your Batteries

American National Standard for Portable Cells and Batteries

Beyond promoting sensible battery recycling, we work towards the cleanest practices for creating, using, and disposing of batteries. To guide us in this effort, the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) recent American National Standard Report outlines its latest recommended standards for portable primary cells and batteries.

ANSI is a nonprofit organization that oversees the creation and use of thousands of standards and guidelines that are applicable to products in nearly every sector. This report, verified by an ANSI review board, guides battery manufacturers and consumers in best practices for reducing environmental impact, while encouraging innovation in product design and disposal. The report provides useful recommendations covering every aspect of battery development and use, ranging from design and manufacturing to transportation and storage, along with protocols for recycling and disposal. By following these guidelines, we can all share responsibility for managing the consumption of the products we use and rely on every day.

Purchase a copy of the ANSI Standards