Ikea to phase-out sales of non-rechargeable batteries to cut back on waste

Ikea has confirmed that it will stop selling non-rechargeable alkaline batteries from its stores by October 2021, after lifecycle assessments found that the environmental impacts of the batteries were much higher than rechargeable alternatives.

Ikea to phase-out sales of non-rechargeable batteries to cut back on waste

In 2019

Ikea will remove non-rechargeable alkaline batteries from its global home furnishing range by October 2021. The retailer will prioritise the sales of rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries (NiMH) after lifecycle assessments found that greenhouse gas emissions are lower when using rechargeable alternatives.

The assessments found that after 10 charges of NiHM batteries – including the LADDA range sold by Ikea – emissions were lower than alkaline alternatives to obtain the same amount of energy. After 50 charges, the environmental impact of the rechargeable batteries was either equal or less to the impact of the alkaline batteries.

In 2019, Ikea sold around 300 million alkaline batteries globally. Ikea has calculated that if those batters had been switched to the LADDA rechargeable versions and used them 50 times, a waste reduction of 5,000 tonnes could have been recorded that year. The LADDA batteries can be recharged up to 500 times.

Ikea’s range and supply business area manager Emelie Knoester 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.”

Climate positive

The phase-out was agreed one month after Ingka Group – the business owner of Ikea – committed €600m in sustainability investments, including a “zero-fossil fuel” approach, to assist with Ikea’s overall ambition of becoming “climate positive” by 2030.

As part of the climate positive strategy, Ikea will strive to design all products using only renewable and recycled materials by 2030.

The retailer’s latest sustainability report reveals that 60% of all the raw materials Ikea sourced to produce products during 2018 were from “renewable” sources such as cotton and bamboo, with a further 10% accounted for by pre or post-consumer recycled material. It claims that Ikea is “on track” to achieve 100% by 2030 but will need to work with industry to spur the creation of larger supply chains for recycled materials such as wood, plastic and fabrics. 

Matt Mace

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