IKEA removing alkaline batteries
IKEA’s global headquarters in Almhult, Sweeden reported that all non-rechargeable alkaline batteries will be removed from stores by October 2021.
The furnishings retailer said that its goal is to inspire consumers who frequently use batteries to make the switch to rechargeable ones, enabling them to both save money and reduce waste at home.
According to IKEA, several current comparative life cycle assessment studies show that the environmental impact of alkaline batteries is higher compared to rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries (NiMH) when used in common household devices that have a high energy consumption and are therefore charged on a regular basis - such as toys, flashlights, portable speakers or cameras.
After 10 charges of a rechargeable NiHM battery, such as the LADDA range sold in IKEA stores, greenhouse gas emissions are lower compared to using alkaline batteries to obtain the same amount of energy. After about 50 charges, the overall environmental impact of NiMH batteries is equal to or even less than the impact of alkaline batteries, the company said.
“Consumers who need to frequently use batteries can benefit by replacing alkaline with rechargeable batteries,” said Emelie Knoester, business area manager at IKEA Range and Supply. “There are substantial savings to be made over time – on the environment as well as their wallets.”
Between September 2018 and August 2019, IKEA globally sold about 300 million alkaline batteries.
“So we see great potential to inspire our customers to adopt new behaviors and use rechargeable batteries to their full potential,“ Knoester said.
Calculations by IKEA indicate that if, hypothetically, all of its customers switched from ALKALISK alkaline batteries to LADDA rechargeable batteries and charged them just 50 times, global waste could be reduced by as much as 5,000 tons on an annual basis. Because one LADDA battery can be charged up to 500 times, there is potential to reduce even more waste.
“We are on a journey to inspire and enable people to live healthier and more sustainable lives within the boundaries of the planet,” said Caroline Reid, sustainability development manager at IKEA. “By phasing out alkaline batteries and focusing on our range of rechargeable batteries, we are taking one step on that journey – offering customers an affordable and convenient solution to prolong the life of products and materials and reduce waste.”
The commitment applies globally and includes the ALKALISK range of alkaline batteries. At this point, the lithium ion button cell battery (PLATTBOJ) will be kept in the range as some applications currently sold by IKEA require a button cell battery to function.
Ikea operates over 430 stores in more than 50 countries.