IKEA to remove non-rechargeable alkaline batteries from sale by 2021
As part of IKEA’s commitment to inspire and enable people to live a healthier and more sustainable life at home, the retailer has today announced that all non-rechargeable alkaline batteries will be removed from its global home furnishing range by October 2021.
The move comes in the hope that it will inspire its customers to make a switch to rechargeable batteries, with regular use over time enabling consumers to both save money and reduce waste at home.
IKEA’s decision to remove non-rechargeable alkaline batteries from sale is based on evidence from several current comparative Life Cycle Assessment studies. These 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.
According to Life Cycle Assessment studies, after ten 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. 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.
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. IKEA globally sold about 300 million alkaline batteries last year, so we see great potential to inspire our customers to adopt new behaviours and use rechargeable batteries to their full potential.”
In FY19, IKEA sold around 300 million alkaline batteries globally. Calculations indicate that if – hypothetically - all IKEA customers switched from ALKALISK alkaline batteries to LADDA rechargeable batteries, used them for high-drain devices and charged them just 50 times, the global waste reduction would be as much as 5,000 tons annually. As one LADDA battery can be charged up to 500 times, the potential to reduce additional waste is significant.
Caroline Reid, Sustainability Development Manager at IKEA Range & Supply, 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.”
The commitment applies globally and includes the ALKALISK range of alkaline batteries. Currently, the lithium ion button cell battery - PLATTBOJ - will be kept in the product range due to some applications currently being sold by IKEA requiring a button cell battery to function.