We use batteries in many different things every day. Take a look around you right now and see if you can count how many things in the room use batteries; i.e. remotes, toys, Bluetooth devices, watches, laptops and phones.
On average, every UK adult uses 10 batteries a year – or 600 million if we add everyone’s altogether – and most people just throw them straight into the bin. Rubbish that goes into non-recycling bins ends up in landfill sites and batteries in here will begin to decay. When they start to break down, they release harmful chemicals, such as mercury, zinc and lithium into the ground which is not only harmful to the environment but wasteful as these precious elements can be reused in manufacturing.
Problems caused by not recycling batteries
- Soil and water become toxic meaning animals can die and habitats are destroyed
- A rise in greenhouse gas emissions from having to transport waste and sources of new materials for batteries
- Increased in use of fossil fuels to create more batteries
How can we recycle batteries?
In nearly all supermarkets or local recycling centres, there is a box that you can put used batteries in to recycle them. These are collected specifically so that the batteries can be destroyed responsibly, and the valuable elements are taken out of them and reused.
To find your local recycling centre and what you can dispose of there, see this page – https://www.recyclenow.com/local-recycling?rlw-initial-path=places/all%3Fmaterials%3D28