Ikea’s ‘Alkalisk’ non-rechargeable alkaline batteries will be going away by this time next year.
In a statement, the Swedish furniture company said that it would stop selling nearly all non-rechargeable batteries around the world by October 2021.
“Ikea globally sold about 300 million alkaline batteries last year, so we see great potential to inspire our customers to adopt new behaviors and use rechargeable batteries to their full potential,” said Emelie Knoester, business area manager at Ikea range and supply.
The only exception to Ikea’s plan are the tiny ‘button cell’ batteries that come with some Ikea products. Ikea plans to continue stocking those for the foreseeable future.
Ikea cited several comparative studies as the motivation behind its decision. The company noted that alkaline batteries have more environmental impact than rechargeable nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries when used in ‘high-drain’ devices like portable speakers or digital cameras. Plus, the longer you use a rechargeable battery, the better the environmental value.
Specifically, Ikea says that after 10 charges, a NiMH battery’s greenhouse gas emissions are lower compared to using alkaline batteries for the same amount of energy. After 50 charges, the overall environmental impact of NIMH batteries “is equal or even less than the impact of using alkaline batteries.”
According to Ikea, if everyone who bought the 300 million disposable batteries instead bought its reusable batteries, used them in ‘high-drain’ device and recharged them more than 50 times, there would be 5,000 fewer tons of dead batteries in landfills.
Ultimately, Ikea’s switch towards rechargeable batteries should bring environmental benefits in the long run, although it could take years for the endeavour to bear fruit. If you’re interested in reading more about the studies behind Ikea’s claims, the company details them here.
Image credit: Ikea