Ikea to ban non-rechargeable batteries

Old non-rechargeable batteries from retailer Ikea
Photo: Ikea

Ikea will remove all non-rechargeable alkaline batteries worldwide by 2021. In this way, the furniture retailer wants to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of toxic waste.


5,000 tons less waste

Ikea announces that it will ban all non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, such as AAA, AA and 9-volt batteries, from all its stores by October 2021. The chain of department shops still sold some 300 million alkaline batteries last year. The initiative is part of the company's sustainability strategy.

The interior design chain wants to encourage consumers who regularly use batteries to switch to rechargeable batteries. Not only would this be better for the environment, it would also save waste and, over time, even money, Ikea says in a global press release. If all of Ikea's customers switched from alkaline to rechargeable batteries and recharged them 50 times, there would be 5,000 tons less waste every year.

After 50 recharges

Recent studies show that the environmental impact of alkaline batteries is higher than that of Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries, at least for household appliances that are regularly charged, such as toys, torches, portable speakers and cameras.

Already after ten recharges, the greenhouse gas emissions of a rechargeable battery are lower than those of alkaline batteries, according to the retailer: "After about 50 recharges, the overall environmental impact of NiMH batteries is equal to or even less than the impact of alkaline batteries."

Ikea hopes that other retailers will follow suit. But button cell batteries will still be sold for the time being, because some Ikea products can only work with those.