Pupils power up battery recycling campaign

A nationwide recycling campaign is on track to collect 278 tonnes of used batteries, according to its organisers.

The Duracell Big Battery Hunt encourages children to hunt for hoards of used batteries and to bring them to school to be recycled.

According to Duracell, more than half-a-million pupils are not registered to take part in the programme, which was launched last year, and if each student collects an average of four used batteries, then the total collected around the country would be around 278 tonnes.

So far, the campaign has already collected 2.3 tonnes of used batteries.

Recent figures show there are up to 433 million used batteries in British households and more than 20,000 tonnes of batteries end up in landfill sites in the UK each year, presenting a major environmental challenge for the future.

A pilot scheme organized by Duracell enrolled a target of 40 schools only and inspired children and their families to recycle 107,000 used batteries thus unlocking an exciting new way to stop batteries ending up in landfill.

‘Our 2017 pilot scheme helped us unlock an exciting and innovative way to make recycling batteries more convenient and habitual – which are currently key barriers to reducing battery waste – and we’ve been delighted to now take the Big Battery Hunt nationwide, reaching over half a million pupils,’ said Duracell UK’s associate marketing director, Christina Turner.

‘The initial results have once again surpassed our expectations and proved how the enthusiasm among the youngest members of our community can have a positive long term impact on the environment.

‘As well as encouraging the nation to recycle old batteries, Duracell is dedicated to minimising waste in the first place by increasing battery life and ensuring consumers get the most from the product, which is where the Duracell PowerCheck feature comes in.

‘On average, about one in three batteries gets thrown away with power still inside so PowerCheck ensures you use battery to the full. Alongside recycling used batteries, investing in a quality battery will minimise waste,’ added Turner.

David Reynolds, Group Technical Director at WasteCare, who own BatteryBack, the UK’s largest Battery Compliance Scheme and battery recycling experts, commented: ‘The average Brit now uses about 10 batteries a year, and as a country we use 189 million batteries at Christmas alone so it’s not hard to imagine the numbers of used batteries either left redundant in kitchen drawers or even worse, in landfill sites.

‘Given current recycling rates, it is clear we need to urgently and collectively change our nation’s attitude to recycling and we are delighted to partner with Duracell for a second year to learn how to do this successfully in order to make a positive, permanent change. The results highlight battery recycling behaviour in homes across the country and feedback from the schools and the enthusiasm from the children taking part has been hugely inspiring.’

Jamie Hailstone

Jamie Hailstone

journalist

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