UK consumers purchase 660 million batteries every year. 95% of these are disposable. If they are not recycled they are disposed of at landfills, releasing toxic chemicals into the environment.
Uniross; World leaders in the manufacture and distribution of rechargeable batteries conducted a unique study in 2007 on the environmental impact of batteries. The study, carried out by Bio Intelligence Service was in fact the first worldwide comparison of disposable with Ni-MH batteries.
The results showed that a for every 1 kWh of energy produced, rechargeable batteries have up to 32 times less impact on the environment than disposable batteries.
They investigated 5 key environmental impact indicators at all stages of the battery life cycle:
Consumption of natural resources
Uniross rechargeable batteries consume 23 times less non-renewable natural resources.
Rechargeables have 28 times less impact on climate change due to the detrimental effect of the manufacture and distribution of disposables.
Photochemical oxidation causes toxic substances to be released into the atmosphere; this is 30 times greater when using disposable.
Acid substances are released into the air and deposited in eco-systems – 9 times greater impact with disposables.
Toxic risks for fresh and sea water sediments are 12 times less when using rechargeable Ni-Mh batteries.
Uniross also looked at the implications to reduce waste. They found that if Europe were to switch to rechargeable, it would avoid the production of 99,000 metric tonnes of waste. Packaging waste would also be reduced; to obtain to 1 kWh of energy 93 packets are used as opposed to 1.
Uniross batteries can be recharged up to 1000 times, thus cutting potential battery waste volume to a 1000th of its current level.
Download the full Uniross report http://www.uniross.com/eu/environment-rechargables-bio.php