Ikea to end sale of all non-rechargeable alkaline batteries globally by 2021

This winter will be the last festive season shoppers can buy non-rechargeable batteries from Ikea for the plethora of toys, games and devices expected to be littered throughout homes.

The global flatpack giant said it will only sell rechargeable batteries and end the sale of solo-use alkaline batteries by October next year.

Bosses revealed they sold 300 million batteries worldwide, including 1.2 million in the UK and Ireland, last year, and said the shift would stop 5,000 tons ending up being thrown away.

Coronavirus – Mon Jun 8, 2020
Coronavirus – Mon Jun 8, 2020

The Swedish retailer said the decision was taken to “inspire and enable people to live a healthier and more sustainable life at home”.

Bosses said they made the call after seeing Life Cycle Assessment studies showing the environmental impact of alkaline batteries is higher compared to rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries (NiMH) when used in high-energy products including toys, flashlights, portable speakers or cameras.

According to Life Cycle Assessment studies, after 10 charges of a rechargeable NiMH battery, greenhouse gas emissions are lower compared to using alkaline batteries to obtain the same amount of energy.

When approximately 50 charges are reached, the overall environmental impact of NiMH batteries is equal or even less than the impact of using alkaline batteries, it added.

Emelie Knoester, business area manager at Ikea Range & Supply, said: “Consumers who need to frequently use batteries can benefit by replacing alkaline with rechargeable batteries.

“There are substantial savings to be made over time – both for the environment as well as our customers’ wallets.”

Caroline Reid, sustainability development manager at Ikea, added: “We are on a journey to inspire and enable people to live healthier and more sustainable lives within the boundaries of the planet.

“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.”

Single-use lithium ion button cell batteries will be kept on sale for products requiring them, Ikea added.