- Created on 24 August 2012
Rechargeable batteries have been around forever, but unfortunately they still have relatively limited market penetration. Certain types, it must be said, have made the breakthrough, your phone (for example) wouldn't function for very long without a rechargeable battery. However, when it comes to the AAAs in your house, the majority are used once and then head straight to the landfill.
So, here are five reasons why you should head to RS Online and buy a raft of rechargeable batteries (if you haven't already).
Less Impact on Natural Resources
Rechargeable batteries consume an enormous 23 times less natural resources than their one-time use counterparts. The reason for this is very straightforward, you have to use roughly 23 batteries from one end of their life to another before a rechargeable one runs out. Accordingly, that means you have to make 23 non rechargeables and thus use a lot more precious natural resources.
You wouldn't think of a battery as a major producer of greenhouse gases, but the process of manufacturing and distribution actually releases a surprisingly large quantity of CO2 into the atmosphere. Estimates vary but a general figure is that rechargeable batteries have 28 times less impact on CO2 emissions than non rechargeables, primarily because those 23 batteries mentioned have to be shipped to your house and then taken to the rubbish dump afterwards, as well as a few variations in manufacturing process.
Obviously with so many more packets of non rechargable batteries sold, that's a lot of packaging that gets produced as well. Most battery packaging is non bio degradable (largely due to the plastic covering on each packet) so there's a significant landfill cost associated with each extra packet of non rechargeables that you buy.
Speaking of landfills, most batteries (rechargeable or otherwise) end their lives in landfill sites. Each year around 660 million batteries are sold in the UK and between 95 and 99% of these end up in a landfill. As well as taking up landfill space, they also can contribute to water pollution.
After four very nice reasons associated with generally making the planet a better place, perhaps the most important reason is that you'll end saving quite a lot of money in the long run by using rechargeable batteries. Admittedly, it does take a tiny bit of extra effort to charge the batteries up, but it also takes extra effort to buy batteries, so all in all, it's probably worth the tiny extra hassle.
Check out this pdf for the full research on the environmental impact of batteries.